Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Cameron and Crushed Rubber

Cameron:  It's my turn to introduce the subject for today.  We want to tell you what we learned about a product on the market.  This isn't a review of a product, just a review of what we learned on the subject because several of those we asked for input before testing it the other day have asked whether we accepted or turned down the offer.  So here goes. Hope it makes sense because Jan is rushing to get to a meeting and we're not supposed to play on the internet when she's not home.  (Ha!)

Many of you have seen this recently -
I have invented and patented a new cat product. I need to find a devoted cat blogger to help promote my product ...

We won't name the individual or his company as we are not writing this to endorse his product, publicize it or even to slam it. but the idea is to use ground tires as cat litter in a specially designed/built litter box because tires are not absorbent.

Jan was cautious but interested in testing it to see if it would be something that could help us with some income. but then she saw this warming from PDX Pride -
Please be careful, kitties! ... “environmentally safe” recycled tire cat litter is misleading! Please do some research about this. Even playgrounds & fields made out of crumb rubber (as it’s known) may have high levels of toxic chemicals such as lead. In 2008, there were major studies done, and a lot of states quit using the crumbled form without reformulating it into a sheet. Car tires are also NOT “organic” or “carbon-based”, as the website claims. They are petroleum-based.

So she googled crumb rubber and could not find anything good on the subject. She emailed some bloggers and non bloggers to ask for their feedback. But Karen, mom to the PDX Pride and daughter of a retired Oregon Health Department worker, sent us this easier to understand explanation.

I applaud him for coming up with another use for recycled crumb rubber, and on the surface it looks like his idea would work, if not for using recycled tires.  Since he's going by the claim on the bag of rubber that he gets, I hope he's done his research on that claim.  There are two meanings to the word "organic".  One is the chemical meaning:  produced from carbon-containing components.  In that meaning, vulcanized rubber of any sort is organic.  The other is the environmental meaning:  produced without the use of chemicals.  In this meaning, NO vulcanized rubber is organic, especially not any that has been used as tires.

No method of recycling used tires can fully wash off oils and other road contaminants.  These are absorbed into the rubber of the tire.  Furthermore, tires are manufactured from raw rubber (an actual organic component), chemicals (varying by manufacturing company), and steel wire (mostly taken out when recycled).  So, chemicals are inherent in the rubber of the tire from manufacturing as well as what is absorbed through use.

However, if the rubber that he's getting is from a source that uses ONLY raw rubber or vulcanized raw rubber, then that would be safe for cats.  But recycled tires contain chemicals that I wouldn't want around my cats.

Jan asked him which type of rubber he is using, raw or vulcanized raw rubber and he answered that the guy who grinds it uses both and it would be "mixed." As far as we can assess, this isn't possible.

So Jan passed on testing it or helping to sell it. Our welfare is important to her!

If you have been contacted and are interested in trying the product or helping to market it, we aren't trying to dissuade you. We just hope you will check into the safety aspect of it for your kitties first.


  1. TBT saw that product an flags went up all over the place. So we arent gonna be tryin it...

  2. Hello there Cameron!!!And Well done you and the lovely Jan for doing your research!! Good research will help you make informed decisions! Yay!!

    It's an intriguing idea though- rubber as litter. Hmm. Charlie is shaking his head so that's a no-no from us! Take care

  3. I will SO keep that in mind should I get that khat I want so badly!


  4. You are so very smart to do that research - it raises a lot of questions in our minds and we don't even have a cat. Good detective work.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  5. I read that too (and commented about this on FB). I'm going with my gut. My gut says my kitteh babies won't be using it.

  6. Thank you Jan. We've seen that post around here & there too.

  7. That was one of the better articles. It is interesting that the EPA really hasn't made any stand on this as it's still in many children's playgrounds. We are sad to learn that this person doesn't seem real concerned about where he gets his rubber (unless he is buying it from different manufacturers and mixing to attempt to mitigate toxins)

  8. Good info to have! Thank you so much for doing this great research, Jan!

  9. We saw this too and were worried about the chemical compounds of recycled tires. My human prefers using disposable litter made from natural, plant-based ingredients, such as corn, wheat or soy. It just makes more sense.

  10. Sure is important to make a research, right?
    Happy wednesday to all of you!
    Kisses and hugs

  11. You've got a wonderful mummy, she does excellent research to keep you guys safe!

  12. Goodness, this research is great! The human was thinking about trying this out, but after writing to the owner of the company, she got a little wary. Thanks for solidifying our decision!

  13. Pawsome research Jan! We were also contacted by this man, but right away flags went up.

  14. we got this email too and our the mom won't try it because Billy will not use it - he would eat it.

  15. I never heard of this product. I am all in favor of recycling, but crumbled rubber litter sounds a little bit weird to me.

  16. When we first saw this on your blog I was worried about the possible pollution and it not being safe for any animals or humans handling it either. After all it's not just what you get from touching it but from breathing it too. Hannah has asthma as it is and is on regular medication so I was quite concerned.
    Thanks so much for your investigations Jan.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  17. Thanks for giving us more information on this stuff!

  18. The mom wrote the guy too - he didnt seem too interested in us but the mom did check out his site. She didnt like dat it was used tires, as wif yer research said it has chemicals on it dat just wont go away. We pass too - perhaps he felt he was doing gud but us kittehs we gots to stay healthy!


  19. Thank you for your excellent research. I don't like the sound of this stuff at all and Herman certainly won't be using it.

  20. Thanks for the info. We saw the request on the CB and thought about offering our services but then we saw the PDX Pride's warning and then Mommy talked to Daddy (thank Cat) and Daddy pretty much said he didn't think it would be safe.

  21. Thanks to all the Funny Farmers and PDX Pride for researching this subject. Our ape has had doubts about the safety of recycled tyres for a while now. One of her clients used recycled chopped up tyres (from a proper supplier) as a soft surface for her indoor menage where she schools her horses. In the UK recycled tyre rubber is often used this way as it's a very soft, bouncy surface for horses to work on.

    Within a month 4 of her horses had respiratory issues and 3 of them had nasty rashes (which took a heap of work to clear up) on their pasterns (bit of horse just above the hoof) and heels. The horses with respiratory problems showed a similar rash on the inside of their nostrils too. It took her vet a while, but she concluded that it was the menage surface that caused the issue. The lady stopped working the horses in the indoor menage and things improved. She's since had the surface removed and all is well.


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