For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has endorsed the use of ground-up tires to cushion the surfaces of children's playgrounds and sports fields--a decision now being reconsidered because of concerns among the agency's own scientists about possible health threats.

The concerns are disclosed in internal agency documents about a study the EPA is conducting of air and surface samples at four fields and playgrounds that use recycled tires--the same material that cushions the ground under the Obama family's new play set at the White House.

Recycled-rubber surfaces have been popular for decreasing playground injuries and providing resiliency and cheap, weatherproof maintenance. But...

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