Rubber Mulch? How Safe Is It?

I just cannot believe that people are buying into using this rubber mulch for gardens hook, line, and sinker! Just think of it for a minute.

Where is this rubber mulch coming from? What is rubber made of? Is rubber not rubber anymore once it has been ground up?

First of all, what is rubber in this rubber mulch made up of?

If  you think of it for a minute, it’s quite obvious  that rubber requires some type of synthetic material to first of all bond together the rubber material so rubber tires can exist.  What is rubber really made up of? Is it something we know would be safe if the broken down particles would end up in our food and water?

Why is it that that we are not allowed to throw old tires in municipal dumps with the rest of the garbage but must bring in these tires to be disposed of in a very particular way? Nobody wants old tires, yet people would buy it as rubber mulch?

;Also  some companies are advocating using this shredded rubber as rubber mulch compost which is supposed to nourish our soil?

How the heck is that supposed to happen when there is absolutely nothing natural in rubber!! Nothing even slightly similar to microorganisms or micro-organisms, so how can rubber nourish soil? Leave a tire to rot, do you find worms gathering around the tire to help the decompostition of the tire? Why not?

I did a google search with keyword ” rubber makeup” and was taken to a Wikipedia page where I found the following information.  Some of the information is about a compound called PPD.  Here’s a jpg with part of this information.  To see a large copy of this jpg, you will need to double click it twice: once on this page and then on the next page.  You may also go directly to the wikipedia page using the url at the end of the PPD section.

Rubber Mulch is not a safe product “PPD (p-Phenylenediamine, a derivative of aniline) is easily oxidized, and for this reason PPD is used as antiozonants in production of rubber products”

“In many cases, PPD causes allergic reaction, and can cause scarring in some people. PPD should never be applied directly to the skin in its pure form or mixed with anything else”

“The CDC (Center for Disease control) lists PPD as being a contact allergen. Exposure routes are through inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, and skin and/or eye contact; symptoms of exposure include throat irritation (pharynx and larynx), bronchial asthma, and sensitization dermatitis.[5][6] Sensitization is a lifelong issue, which may lead to active sensitization to products including, but not limited to black clothing, various inks, hair dye, dyed fur, dyed leather, and certain photographic products.”

“It was voted Allergen of the Year in 2006 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society” ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-Phenylenediamine

I think we need to ask ourselves, “Do we want our food growing in areas where there are possible allergens from rubber mulch?”

Do we want our children playing in playgrounds where there is possible breakdown of rubber into dust and breathing in that dust?

How do we know that the rubber which is being used to make this rubber mulch hasn’t been further  contaminated in some way while being used on vehicles?

Secondly some people may argue that sand used in children’s playgrounds can be more dangerous than the rubber mulch for the children’s health.

It may be true that children  can fall on the sand and hurt themselves. However, at least the sand is a natural material which has been a part of earth for millenia.

On the other hand,  manmade material such as rubber mulch or rubber playground squares  comes from rubber tires which have been put together by adding chemicals, chemicals such as PPD which can be detrimental to the child’s health.
The worst part of this hazard is that it is a hidden hazard.  Unfortunately people trust companies who sell these products and they don’t check to see how safe it is before they buy.  The product looks good, so Hey! it must be good for us and our children.  In this case, fooled again??!!??

When cigarettes were first out they were touted as being safe. At the time, nobody mentioned all the chemicals used to turn tobacco plants into smokable cigarettes . . . chemicals which would one day be responsible for cancer.

After the second world war when farmers were being told that synthetic fertilizers were safe, that farmers would have even better growing results when using this synthetic fertilizer than they would by using compost and manure, nobody mentiioned that this fertilizer was made from the same chemicals as those used in the war to kill.

The common people who thought they were being told the truth had no idea how much this synthetic fertilizer would damage both soil and crops. Now we have to reverse our way of thinking and go back to old fashion methods to save our soil and water.

To further complicate the situation,  we have big companies trying to find a place to get rid of old tires — – guess where!   Right into our back yard, into our soil which we are trying to bring back to former high standards of nutrition.  What next?

In this video, Nancy Alderman, President of Environment And Human Health Organization explains WHY anything such as rubber mulch or playground rubber is hazardous in our gardens and on our children’s playgrounds . . .

Nancy is right! She is warning us: “This rubber mulch will bring only more damage to our health and ecosystem.”

Will people ignore Nancy’s warning regarding the toxins and carcinogens present in rubber mulch just like they ignored David Suzuki”s warning re insecticides/pesticides on our food in his article The David Suzuki Foundation released a document, “The Food We Eat” — An International Comparison of Pesticide regulations, October 2006.?” To read this short article, please scroll down to almost the bottom of the post at

http://organicvegetablegardeningguide.com/blog/grow-your-own-vegetables/

One more thing re this rubber mulch or rubber playground squares:  Isn’t there enough of this rubber in our atmosphere as it is?

Tires wear out, and as tires wear out leaving dust particles behind, where do these dust particles  go?

Should we allow  more “dust particles” be added to our environment by buying the shredded rubber mulch and adding it to our soil and our children’s playgrounds?

Are we so blind that we cannot see how  the chemicals from all these degenerating (rotting) rubber particles will seep from our  soil into our water, and ultimately will be swallowed by our children?

I hope people will realize before it’s too late that if farmers and gardeners embrace using this shredded rubber mulch in their gardens/playgrounds, they will be further destroying their own health, their children’s future health, and that of our present ecosystem.  Is that what we want for our children?  Think about it!!

Marcie

Bio: A gardener since the 70′s, Marcie Snyder knows that there is no comparison to growing your own vegetables and plants organically. Therefore, to help the budding gardener, she has dedicated four blogs to explaining different aspects of organic gardening. In addition, besides the FREE ebook “The Complete Guide to Organic Vegetable Gardening” (OVG GUIDE), Marcie also offers a very comprehensive step-by-step ebook detailing 4 methods of composting. Check for more articles at http://organicvegetablegardeningguide.com/blog

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33 Responses to “Rubber Mulch? How Safe Is It?”

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  2. Rubber mulch is popularly used in most of the landscapes to add beauty to the existing land. Nice post

  3. [...] full post on Organic Vegetable Gardening Blog May 16th, 2010 | Tags: Mulch, Rubber, Safe | Category: Bio [...]

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  30. Shawn says:

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  31. From at least one environmental standpoint, you’ve got to love rubber mulch — no trees die in its creation. Made from some of the more than 290 million tires discarded each year, the shredded stuff saves landfill space, too.
    _______________________________
    Jeremy
    You may have a point as far as saving trees, but at whose expense?
    Your health, your children’s health, my health, the world’s health?!?!?

    The companies could find another way to use this rubber without having us PAY THEM for stuff (What they call compost) that will eventually end up in our food and which will make people either working with the soil or using this “polluted” area for recreational purposes as well as animals eating food grown in this soil sick. What is more important:them making money or humans having safe soil in which to plant their
    vegetables?
    Rubber Does Not Belong In Our Garden Soil!!!!!!!!!!!!

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