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Environment

Indoor climbing wall users may be breathing in toxic rubber dust

The air and dust in climbing centres contain high levels of rubber particles from the soles of climbing shoes, some of which contain toxic additives

By Michael Le Page

3 May 2024

Indoor climbing walls may have high levels of rubber particles in the air

fotodelux/Getty Images

Climbers and workers at indoor climbing walls may be breathing in large doses of potentially toxic rubber additives, according to a study reporting that the air and dust in climbing centres contain high levels of rubber particles from the soles of climbing shoes.

These soles are typically made from the same materials as car tyres, which are a major source of air pollution. Dust produced by the wear of rubber tyres on cars and trucks is breathed…

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