Safe to use Tyres in Gardens?
by Les Boucher
(Sanctuary Point, N.S.W. Aus.)
For more years than I care to remember I have been advocating the use of old tyres for use in gardens. At the same time I have had a niggling doubt in the back of my mind about whether any chemicals were leaching out from the tyres and sinking into the ground.
I have just read an article, "Treading Carefully", in Organic Gardener (Australia) July/August 2009 edition written by Jo Immig which also raises this question. I would suggest that it might be an idea to read this before making up your own mind as to whether you wish to use them in your garden.
The article mentions that a recent comprehensive study into the use of crumb surfaces (such as pulverised tyres for playground surfaces and mulches) by the California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, does raise some concerns including, finding that up to 49 chemicals could be released from recycled tyres.
Rather than rewrite the whole article (and risk prosecution for plagiarism) I'll just encourage you to read what is written in the magazine and I'll list links to the sources that were used for the article.
This may just be because the tyres were pulverised and does not apply to those tyres left whole. The final decision will be yours but as Jo states "....Better safe than sorry."