Cagayan De Oro, Philippines (PressExposure) July 11, 2009 -- More than 40,000 sports-related eye injuries are reported annually in the United States. These are especially common in competitive sports which require athletes to spend large amounts of time training exposing them to more possibilities of injury. Other common injuries range from ligament and tendon sprains, tears and dislocated knee-caps for athletes whose sports involve athletic fields or courts and more serious injuries such as head, body and eye damage for mixed martial art fighters. What safety measures have been employed to ensure athletes safety and minimize bodily harm?
For the track and field athletes, rubber mulch is their 'savior'. This is the rubber coating commonly used on racing tracks, athletic fields and arenas and is in fact the same material used in punching bags and MMA mats. Originally used in agriculture and gardening, rubber mulch has proven to be an invaluable tool in enhancing athletes safety. This rubber material possesses very essential qualities to runners and other athletes including its being: â¢ Water proof â¢ Non-flammable â¢ Non-toxic â¢ Durable â¢ Resilient â¢ Cheap â¢ Shock absorbent â¢ Easy installed â¢ Maintenance free
All of the mentioned characteristics are a necessity to athlete's safety and this unique rubber granule has proved superior to wood and sand in all aspects. Rubber mulch also provides an uninterrupted slope for surface drainage to provide a smooth playing surface which removes the danger of slippery surfaces and reduces the occurrence of sprains. The shock absorption property which produces a cushioning effect is twice than the effect of sand or gravel. This quality helps break athletes' falls and reduces bruises often acquired with soil or grass fields and tracks. Unlike natural grass fields which become dangerous during a downpour, the rubber mulch being water proof poses no hazard. Being utterly maintenance free and durable-practically lasting a lifetime, this rubber coating is definitely cost effective and worth the one-time fee paid approximately $7.62 per square foot. Though issues have been raised regarding its possible long-term health hazards, it remains safe and non- toxic even if swallowed. Additionally, it drains extremely well and will not freeze in cold weather and during summer remains 20 degrees cooler than sand.
Another impressive fact about this versatile safety material is that it is environmentally friendly since it is made from 100% recycled tires. The wires are removed from the discarded tires and the 'mulch' or rubber left is then treated with heated, chemicals and softening agents added to attain the desired elasticity and insulation. Rubber mulch is also available in a variety of colors mimicking either soil or grass and can even be used in rugby or soccer fields. This kind of mulch is more expensive, it requiring longer processing period, and undergoes the wire-removing stage a couple of times to ensure as much of metal as possible has been removed. The variety in color also contributes to its anti heat absorbent quality.
Rubber Mulch has proven to be the safest, sturdiest, most economical choice for arenas, and athletic fields and has surely aided in providing a safe sport environment.