Letters to the Editor

More things you should know about crumb rubber

I read of the concerns Friday Harbor Elementary School parents have raised about the “crumb rubber” underlayment of the new playground. The same material has been used at some elementary schools in my hometown.

Within the past year or so, several incidents of arson led to the complete destruction of several area elementary playgrounds. One of these incidents was at our local school where this type of material was used as underlayment.

Since the playground equipment includes a lot of plastic material, it was hard to tell if the underlayment contributed to the arson success. However, I did take home some of the rubber material home and found that it caught fire quite easily.

Our playground has been replaced; and perplexingly, it still has the “crumb rubber,” though I think good quality wood chips would be much preferred. The playground company must have had a great salesman.

It is entirely possible that the rubber material has been treated for fire retardance, but a good close look at the flammability of different underlayment materials, as well as their chemical contents would be advisable. You don’t want to lose all that hard work and money the PTA invested in the new playground.
Cheryll Blevins
Mesilla, N.M.

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