This is my last entry as the Chair of ISRI’s Tire and Rubber Division as my terms ends this April at the conclusion of the Board of Directors meeting.
As a long time ISRI member, and now Chair of the Tire and Rubber Division, I have seen firsthand how we’ve been able to overcome many of the challenges we’ve faced over the years. The most pressing and concerning of these issues has been the ongoing “crumb rubber toxicity” issue in which claims that crumb rubber used in playgrounds and sports fields are a threat to human health. These claims are, in a word, “bunk.” Over 90 completed research studies from universities, research labs, and governmental agencies have all come to the same conclusion – there is no evidence that crumb rubber poses a threat to human health. This however, hasn’t stopped the media and others from making outsized claims that have scared the public into believing otherwise. ISRI has stepped up and funded a major communication effort to combat this and get the facts out to the public so they can make an informed choice. As Chair, I was proud to lead the way in this effort. I was also proud to lead research early in my term to fund studies into the economic viability of recycling tire fiber. While we will always need to remain vigilant to fend off threats that may harm our industry, I think developing research material like the tire fiber report are crucial if we are to continue to find new outlets for the by-products of the tire recycling process. This is an industry that has never stood still, and using ISRI as a way to help us move forward is why many of us have become members. Through it all, I have mostly enjoyed the camaraderie and opportunities to network with other ISRI members – many of whom I’m proud to consider friends. This is the basis of why we become members, and this is why I plan to remain a member for years to come. With this in mind, I will end this message as I have ended my message from previous Tire Beats – get involved and stay involved. ISRI is only as strong as the members that participate. I look forward to seeing you at future Tire Division meetings.
Tire and Rubber Division Chair