By Denna Bowman
Playgrounds which use recycled tyres for soft play surfaces are coming under scrutiny from the Environmental Protection Agency because they may not be safe.
The 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.
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.
The study will not be the final word on the issue, but it could determine whether further tests are needed.
Some US cities have decided not to use ground tyres on playing surfaces until more tests are done.