Federal Research Action Plan (FRAP)

The Federal Research Action Plan on Recycled Tire Crumb Used on Playing Fields and Playgrounds (FRAP) is a partnership among Federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  The FRAP aims to study key environmental human health questions to learn more about tire crumb rubber used on synthetic turf fields.

Research Objectives

The objective of the FRAP are to

  • Determine key knowledge gaps;
  • Learn what chemicals may be in tire crumb rubber infill used on synthetic turf fields;
  • Identify ways in which people may be exposed to tire crumb rubber based on their activities on the field; and
  • Identify follow-up activities that might be needed.

To meet these objectives, federal researchers and scientists conducted

  • A literature review and gaps analysis (conducted by EPA and CDC/ATSDR) which helps the agencies to understand what scientific research has already been done, and to get a better idea of what further research might be needed;
  • A tire crumb rubber characterization study (conducted by EPA and CDC/ATSDR), to learn what chemicals are in the tire crumb rubber samples collected from fields across the U.S.;
  • A human exposure characterization study (conducted by EPA and CDC/ATSDR) to help understand how people are exposed to chemicals in tire crumb when they are playing on the fields; and
  • A tire crumb rubber in playground surfaces study (conducted by CPSC), which helps better understand playground surfaces made with tire crumb rubber and the ways children may be exposed to them.
Status of Research Activities
flow chart showing research activities in the Federal Research Action Plan

Literature Review/Gaps Analysis: In 2016, the agencies released a status report that includes the final literature review/gaps analysis and describes the progress of the research activities to date. Access the status report.

Tire Crumb Characterization Study: In 2016, tire crumb samples were gathered from 9 tire crumb manufacturing/recycling plants and from 40 indoor and outdoor synthetic turf fields located across the United States. These samples were analyzed for a variety of chemical compounds.  The results from this study are available in Part 1 of the final report.

Human Exposure Characterization Study: In 2017, EPA and CDC/ATSDR collected information and data to understand human exposure to tire crumb rubber infill used in synthetic turf fields. Following CDC/ATSDR’s completion of a supplemental biomonitoring study, EPA and CDC/ATSDR finalized and released the Tire Crumb Exposure Characterization (Part 2) in April 2024, which completes the EPA’s and CDC/ATSDR’s work with respect to playing fields.

Tire Crumb Rubber in Playground Surfaces Study: CPSC conducted a survey gathering information about children’s behavior on playgrounds. Using data collected from the survey and from the EPA and CDC/ATSDR, CPSC will conduct a study to better understand children’s exposure to playground surfaces made of tire crumb rubber. Visit CPSC’s Crumb Rubber Information Center website to learn more.


EPA and CDC/ATSDR reported research findings in two parts. Part 1 shares the research objectives, methods, results, and findings for the tire crumb rubber characterization research.  Synthetic Turf Field Recycled Tire Crumb Rubber Characterization Research Final Report: Part 1 – Tire Crumb Rubber Characterization.

Part 2 includes data to characterize potential human exposures to the chemicals found in the tire crumb rubber material while using synthetic turf fields. Part 2 was released along with results from a supplemental biomonitoring study conducted by CDC/ATSDR to investigate potential exposure to constituents in tire crumb rubber. Synthetic Turf Field Recycled Tire Crumb Rubber Research Under the Federal Research Action Plan Final Report: Part 2 – Exposure Characterization Volumes 1 and 2.