How Safe Is Rubber Mulch Playground Surfacing?
When you think back to your time in elementary school, you probably think about all the fun games you would play at recess. You may think about how the pieces of black rubber that you would run and roll around on would get into your pockets after you came inside. Schools have also always been interested largely in the safety of the students that attend them, which made using soft playground surfacing to catch them when they fall a no brainer.
“Rubber mulch also had multiple other benefits, as it would not soak up water when it rained, meaning it would keep up with their play longer than wood mulch would.”
However, it also stained the floors and walls of the school and can even end up in parents washing machines at the end of the day.
Sof Fall is proud to offer one of the safest rubber mulches in the world. When playground surfacing can mean the difference in a small scratch and a serious injury we are proud to be there to catch children everywhere when they fall down.
Currently, there have been more proof uncovered that points to the rubber mulch not being such a safe playground surfacing material after all. Rubber mulch is made of recycled tires, which is good for the environment, but bad for health. There isn’t an issue with the tires themselves, but the things that they come into contact with. When they are carved into small pieces, they are not cleaned. This means that anything they once touched is still being poured directly into the children’s place areas on the outside of the playground surfacing materials. Heavy metals, oils, lead contaminants from paint on the roads, and petrochemicals are the names of a few of these contaminants. In heated temperatures, they begin to leak out into the air.
In a study by Environment and Human Health, Inc. in conjunction with Yale University, they showed up to 96 different chemicals in the mulch. Some of the names of these items sound more like they should be locked somewhere safe, rather than in contact with children’s skin. Some cause asthma while others could irritate their eyes and lungs when left alone to heat up under the sun.
Safe Playground Surfacing
One man in Arizona was particularly upset by these findings. As a father and maintenance foreman of more than one school himself, he knew that he had to change the way that they were softening the children’s falls. He decided to try out new material, Jelly Bean play mulch. This was a much more safe playground surfacing material as it is latex-free and sterile. It didn’t take long after replacing one school’s mulch for the news to spread which lead to the replacement of all the other schools within the district. After switching to the other playground surfacing materials, they saw great results. The different colored pieces didn’t heat up in the sun like the tire had and there were no more black streaks. It is also soft playground surfacing, meaning that it was just as safe for the children to fall on as the previous mulch had been.
Nevertheless, there is a downside to using the new version of mulch: the cost. While it is the best option for children’s health, most schools have a tight budget that they must stick to. Jelly Bean mulch has proven to be extremely cost-effective, however, as it does not need to be replaced as often. It is also almost completely maintenance-free, as it is only necessary to rake the mulch back into the play area if the children were to kick some of it out
We've been catching children when they fall for over 27 Years
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