HB1561 (2018) Detail

Relative to the use of recycled tire rubber at village, town, municipal, and school playgrounds.










AN ACT relative to the use of recycled tire rubber at village, town, municipal, and school playgrounds.


SPONSORS: Rep. Messmer, Rock. 24; Rep. Grassie, Straf. 11; Rep. Suzanne Smith, Graf. 8; Rep. Fraser, Belk. 1; Rep. McConnell, Ches. 12; Sen. Watters, Dist 4


COMMITTEE: Municipal and County Government






This bill prohibits the use of recycled tire rubber at village, town, municipal, and public school playgrounds.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen


AN ACT relative to the use of recycled tire rubber at village, town, municipal, and school playgrounds.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  Findings.  The general court finds that:

I.  While most artificial turf fields use less expensive crumb rubber infill from ground up used car and truck tires, many companies now offer artificial turf infill alternatives made from coconut fibers, rice husks, cork, sand, or virgin crumb rubber.  Organic alternative infills can help reduce synthetic turf field temperatures on hot days by as much as 30 degrees compared to crumb rubber infill from used tires.

II.  The average artificial turf field uses approximately 20,000 ground up used tires to make crumb rubber infill.  Tires contain many chemicals including, but not limited to: 4-t-octylphenol, acetone, arsenic, barium, benzene, benzothiazole, butylated hydroxyanisole, cadmium, carbon black, chloroethane, chromium, latex, lead, manganese, mercury, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone, n-hexadecane, naphthalene, nickel.

III.  The state of California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA) 2010 study on used tire crumb rubber in artificial turf fields reviewed chemical concentrations in the air above the fields and found that 8 chemicals appear on the California Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer.  Exposure via inhalation to 5 these chemicals (benzene, formaldehyde, naphthalene, nitromethane, and styrene) gave increased lifetime cancer risks that exceeded one in one million.  According to the study, the highest risk was from nitromethane, which could cause about 9 cancer cases in a hypothetical population of one million soccer players.  The study also found that 2 additional identified chemicals (toluene and benzene) appear on the California Proposition 65 list as developmental/reproductive poisons.

IV.  At least 10 studies since 2007, including those by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, have found potentially harmful lead levels in turf fibers and in rubber crumbs.

V.  A 2011 study titled, “An Evaluation of Potential Exposures to Lead and Other Metals as the Result of Aerosolized Particulate Matter from Artificial Turf Playing Fields” concluded that artificial turf can deteriorate to form dust containing lead at levels that may pose a risk to children.

VI.  A 2012 study published in the scientific journal Chemosphere titled, “Hazardous organic chemicals in rubber recycled tire playgrounds and pavers”, showed the high content of toxic chemicals in these recycled materials and found that “uses of recycled rubber tires, especially those targeting play areas and other facilities for children, should be a matter of regulatory concern.”

VII.  The Swedish Chemicals Agency found that waste tire crumb rubber contains several particularly hazardous substances and recommended that rubber granules from waste tires not be used in artificial turf.

VIII.  In 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) posted a disclaimer on the only limited study on tire crumb risk it had ever conducted.  The EPA press release summarizing the study has been stamped with a notice that it was “outdated” and a new link has been appended to a statement stressing the need for “future studies” to enable “more comprehensive conclusions.”

IX.  On May 19, 2015, the chair of the CPSC, Elliot Kaye, testified before the United States Congress that he no longer stands behind a 2008 statement from the commission that crumb rubber is safe to play on.  His testimony described new federal studies underway.  The CPSC also ordered an enforcement review of marketing of artificial turf products for children because the commission found lead levels in artificial sports fields above statutory limits in children’s products.

X.  A June 2015, study conducted at Yale University by Environment and Human Health, Inc., an organization of physicians and public health professionals, found that crumb rubber infill from used tires contain at least 96 chemicals.  Of the 96 chemicals detected, a little under one-half had no toxicity assessments done on them for their health effects.  Of the one-half that had toxicity assessments, 20 percent were probable carcinogens and 40 percent were irritants.  The carcinogens found were 2-Mercaptobenzothiazole, 9,10-Dimethylanthracene, Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Fluoranthene, Heptadecane, 2-mercaptobenzothiazole, Phenol, 4-(1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)-, Phenanthrene Carcinogen-polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons, Phthalimide, Pyrene, 1-methyl-, Tetratriacontane, Pyrene, and Carbon Black.  Of the irritants found, 24 percent were respiratory irritants, some causing asthma symptoms, 37 percent were skin irritants, and 27 percent were eye irritants.

XI.  In June 2015, the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery in collaboration with the OEHHA agreed to spend nearly $3,000,000 to conduct a three-year study of potential health effects associated with the use of recycled waste tires in playground and artificial turf products.  Making use of the toxicity criteria, monitoring data, and exposure pattern analysis results obtained in the study, OEHHA will assess potential health impacts associated with use of artificial turf and playground mats.

XII.  While the public awaits the results of the OEHHA study and other studies being conducted at the national level and around the country, it is in the public’s best interest, especially from a children’s health perspective, that schools and local governments consider the various infill options when choosing to install artificial turf fields.

2  New Section; Tire Crumb Rubber.  Amend RSA 35-B by inserting after section 7 the following new section:

35-B:8  Tire Crumb Rubber Prohibited.

I.  "Crumb rubber" means a material that contains shredded or ground rubber recycled from motor vehicle tires.

II.  No person shall install a crumb rubber ground cover within the boundaries of a village, town, or of a municipal playground, or playground, located at a public school in the village, town or municipality.

III.  This section shall not apply to a crumb rubber installation that is the subject of a contract entered into prior to July 1, 2017.

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.


HB1561 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 31, 2018 House Hearing
Feb. 13, 2018 House Exec Session
Feb. 13, 2018 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
March 6, 2018 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1561 Revision: 1951 Date: Nov. 9, 2017, 9:43 a.m.


March 6, 2018: Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 03/06/2018 HJ 6 P. 101

: Minority Committee Report: Refer for Interim Study

March 6, 2018: Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 03/06/2018 (Vote 15-4; RC) HC 9 P. 45

: Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 15-4; RC)

Feb. 13, 2018: ==RESCHEDULED== Executive Session: 02/13/2018 11:00 AM LOB 301

Feb. 13, 2018: ==TIME CHANGE== Executive Session: 02/13/2018 11:00 AM LOB 301

Jan. 31, 2018: Public Hearing: 01/31/2018 02:30 PM LOB 301

Jan. 3, 2018: Introduced 01/03/2018 and referred to Municipal and County Government HJ 1 P. 15