The Crumb-Rubber Scare: A critical thinking exercise

A critical thinking case for your students:

I am interested in the rise of reporting about “crumb rubber” which is used on soccer fields- pretty much ground up bits of tires.
The logic goes that tires have harmful chemicals in them, the people who play on fields can ingest tire dust, especially goal keepers in soccer.

But not one scientific study, including EPA’s has established such a risk.

Take a look at the stories and the data.

A collection of parts of stories:

The EPA crumb rubber data:…/download_fil…/documents/tire_crumbs.pdf

The first story I can find on this topic:- all scare and no proof:…/2-investigates-soccer-player-talks-pos

About 1/100 people will get thyroid cancer:
Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 1.1 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2009-2011 data.


Watch the NBC News story that says both the CPSC and EPA have no problems with tire crumb rubber being used in playgrounds. Even the playground at the White House uses it.

KOMO TV in Seattle story says 11 of 13 soccer players in Washington State who have cancer are goal keepers.  The story never contacts all of the players on the list, never attempts to learn if they have anything in cancer or if they actually have cancer at all. They have one person, which is what other stations did, all have one person who fits the profile.