Is Rubber Mulch Safe for Plants:-Manufacturers claim that rubber mulch created from shredded tires is lasting, beautiful, and safe for plants and animals. Companies claim that mulch is a green answer to waste management issues. However, the rubber should not be used as a landscape amendment or mulch, according to scientific research.
There’s no denying that as rubber degrades, hazardous compounds leach out, poisoning soil and plants. Rubber mulching is a contentious procedure. Reusing old tires and keeping them out of landfills appears to be a responsible practice.
However, shredded rubber mulch has been linked to several serious issues. It is often safer to use organic mulching materials. Rubber leachate is toxic due to its mineral content: In labs and fields, leachates, aluminium, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, sulphur, and zinc have all been found.
Rubber includes a lot of zinc, up to 2 per cent of the mass. Therefore, rubber products exposed to numerous pollutants such as lead or other metals will absorb and release those metals in the field during their useful life.
Some plant species have also been demonstrated to accumulate excessive zinc levels to the point of death in some cases. Because of zinc hazards, the Department of Agriculture believes that ground rubber should not be used in agricultural, compost or garden soils.
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RUBBER MULCH EFFECT ON PLANTS:
While rubber mulch is promoted as a long-lasting material, like other organic compounds, it breaks down when exposed to sunshine, bacteria, and fungi—the chemicals in rubber mulch can leak into the soil and adjacent water sources as it decomposes.
Plants, soil and aquatics, are all threatened by several of these compounds and toxic metals. Rubber mulched ornamentals and vegetables can accumulate significant quantities of elements found in rubber tires, such as zinc.
Depending on the plant, these metals can also get in the roots, leaves, or fruit, causing the plant death. Even if the main source is gone, metals that leached into the soil are still being taken up; removing the mulch can just solve part of the problem.
Rubber mulch can also contain plasticizers and accelerators used in tires that are detrimental to the environment, in addition to mineral and organic building blocks. Some of these degrade fast, while others remain in the background for a long time.
In addition, rubber mulched plants can be exposed to excessive quantities of zinc, which can kill the plants. Rubber’s zinc component is released into the soil when it decomposes.
While rubber mulch appears to be an appealing alternative to wood chips at first glance, it does come with its own set of potential problems that should be avoided.
Significant research is required before making a decision to ensure a safe and abundant garden mulch for the future to come. We need to find a safe technique to reuse these slow-decomposing materials, but mulching our gardens with shredded tires is not a good idea.
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