by Mila Mimica and Tracee Wilkins, NBC4 News Washington
June 13, 2013
A brand new playground in Greenbelt, Md. closed this week over concerns about a potentially toxic material in the mulch used for ground covering.
Just a few weeks after the playground opened, the City of Greenbelt closed it down because the mulch used was made of old tires.
“It’s actually a product that not too long ago President Obama put in the White House playground,” Greenbelt Assistant City Manager David Moran said. “The science we saw particularly from the EPA showed that it was below levels of concern.”
However, Diana Zuckerman with the Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund said parents had good reason to be concerned about that mulch.
“Rubber mulch contains phthalates, which are chemicals that affect hormones, and other chemicals that are known to be harmful to our health,” Zuckerman said.
Monday night, Greenbelt County Council agreed to try an alternative called “Poured-In-Place” rubber.
The park remains closed in the near future until the mulch is replaced.