October 07, 2009

Today in Play: Should you switch mulch?

Playground build dayIn the creatively-titled article Mulch Ado (everybody groan now), the Greenwich Citizen reports an interesting trend: five playgrounds have recently replaced their shredded tire rubber mulch surfacing with engineered wood fiber, at considerable cost to the schools.

Why the switch? A group of parents concerned about environmental hazards got together and rallied against the rubber mulch, due to concerns being raised of children touching, swallowing or inhaling lead, metals and chemicals such as benzene, zinc and breathable particles from synthetic mulch-covered playgrounds.

For what it's worth, the EPA has continued to endorse the use of rubber mulch, even with the public concerns, and the company that provided the rubber mulch says in their defense that "a hundred studies have been done on the safety of tire rubber."

What do you think? Are the concerns over rubber mulch overhyped, or is there a legitimate reason for parents to be concerned? Give your thoughts in the comments.

KaBOOM! in the news

We've had some more great mentions in various media outlets in the past few days. Here are some highlights:

"Today in Play" is a regular feature on the KaBOOM! blog, featuring the latest news on play and KaBOOM! media mentions.