US parents have been alarmed by reports that playgrounds which use recycled tyres for soft play surfaces are coming under scrutiny because they may not be safe.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking a second look at the safety of some playgrounds in the US due to concerns that the ground tyres surfaces may contain cancer-causing chemicals.
Some US cities have decided not to use ground tyres on playing surfaces until more tests are done.
Despite endorsing the use of recycled rubber surfaces for years, the EPA is now conducting a new study to determine whether the tyres might have harmful effects on children.
EPA scientists suggest a potential hazard to children who repeatedly play in bits of shredded tyres because of the possible presence of carcinogens and other dangerous substances.
Some studies on shredded tyre surfaces have shown little or no health risk.
The surfaces are popular with schools and parents because the soft, springy base is more child-friendly than concrete.
The EPA said there is no reason for parents to be concerned, but that they need accurate answers about the safety of the places where their children play.
It also acknowledges that the study will not be the final word on the issue, but it could determine whether further tests are needed.
Denna Bowman, Head Office