Reader's view: Thanks to School Board for mulch vote to protect kids’ health
Over a year ago I first heard about crumb rubber via a national news story about Coach Amy Griffin and her list of soccer players who were diagnosed with cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. All of the soccer players played on synthetic turf th...
Over a year ago I first heard about crumb rubber via a national news story about Coach Amy Griffin and her list of soccer players who were diagnosed with cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. All of the soccer players played on synthetic turf that used crumb rubber in the blades of grass to give it extra cushion to protect players when they fell. Her list has grown to almost 200 athletes who have been diagnosed with cancer. And we were left wondering whether it was coincidence or something to do with the tire bits called crumb rubber.
As an active member of Duluth Parents for Healthy Playgrounds, I spent the last school year working with other parents researching crumb rubber and tire mulch. We wrote reports and letters to the editor, held community meetings, attended a committee of the whole meeting with the School Board, and did everything we could to educate the community about the potential dangers of tire mulch.
On June 21, the Duluth School Board unanimously voted to remove shredded tire mulch from all 10 playgrounds where it exists in the district (“Board backs replacing rubber mulch,” June 22). The School Board listened to the concerned parents and voted in favor of our children’s long-term health. Instead of waiting for the federal government’s multi-agency action plan to release a draft status report, board members decided to act now.
Board Chairwoman Annie Harala and School Board members deserve thanks for listening to our concerns and for being proactive. Parents, grandparents, and community members who expressed their concerns also deserve praise.
My only hope is the rest of the country will follow our lead.