In response to the News Tribune's May 11 editorial on rubber mulch on elementary school playgrounds (Our View: "Take step back on rubber mulch"), I am writing my very first letter to the editor.

Just recently I picked up my daughter from school, and she was covered from head to toe in black dust. It was on her clothes and all exposed skin, including her face, arms, hands, and legs. She looked like a coal miner. Less importantly, I now have rubber chips in my car and throughout my house.

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Nobody can offer me a guarantee that the rubber mulch used on Duluth public school playgrounds is 100 percent safe.

Rather than "waiting for the science," as the editorial urged, the School Board should consider removing the mulch as a preventative measure: $1.2 million is a drop in the bucket compared to what could happen if an entire generation of kids and their families sues the district should it be proven that prolonged exposure to the rubber caused cancer or another illness.

Kids already know they should wash their hands, as the editorial also reminded. Some do and some don't, but they're all breathing in the dust, and they can't wash all of it off at school.

Putting our kids' health at risk because it's too expensive to fix a mistake would be immoral and irresponsible.

Brook Johnson