January 18, 2021

Is tire mulch a safe covering for Los Osos playground?

Los Osos playground

A few years ago San Luis Obispo County Parks replaced the playground equipment at our one and only park here in Los Osos. When they did, they also installed 240 yards of repurposed shredded tire mulch underneath it.

This black rubber material apparently meets safety standards for impact, lessening the chance of getting hurt in a playground fall, but does it meet the standards of our community?

The material reeks of petroleum, on any given day the off gassing is noxious. The children come out of the area covered in dirty residue and the material’s jagged edges make it easy to cling to clothing and shoes so it tracks out all over the park, parking lot, into the street and into our watershed.

The internet is filled with frightening stories that speak to the materials potential health risks and carcinogens.

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