RIVM, "playing sport on artificial turf is safe"

RIVM, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Holland has issued the statement “playing sport on artificial turf is safe”

RIVM a department of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in Holland made this statement following Research by the them which shows that sports on artificial pitches with rubber granules is not harmful. Rubber granules are a lot of different materials combined in small pellets, but there are only very low amounts of potentially harmful compounds present. This is because the substances are more or less 'locked up' within the granules. As a result, the adverse effect on the health is practically negligible.

Sports on fields with rubber granules

There are a lot of different substances in rubber granules, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals, phthalates (plasticisers) and bisphenol A (BPA). There is little variation in the concentrations of substances between fields and between the measurement points per field. Thus, the results give a good picture for all fields of SBR rubber granules in the Netherlands.

No link to leukaemia

In the available scientific information found no signs that indicate a link between sports on artificial turf with rubber granules and the occurrence of leukaemia and lymphoma. From the composition of the rubber granules is apparent that the chemical substances that can cause leukaemia or lymph node cancer, there is no benzene and or 1,3-butadiene or in very low amount of 2-mercaptobenzothiazole contained within. In general, since the late eighties of the last century to see a slight increase in the number of people between 10 and 29 years of getting leukaemia. This development has not changed in the Netherlands since the artificial turf in 2001 was put into use.

Recommendation in order to adapt current standard

The RIVM recommends to adjust the standard for rubber crumb to a standard that is closer to the norm for consumer products. Rubber Granules must currently meet the standard for so-called pre-mixes. The standard for consumer products is considerably stricter: it is much lower (100 to 1000 times less) levels of PAHs to the standard mixture. The content of the PAHs studied within the fields the rubber granulate were sampled from is slightly above the norm for consumer products. Currently, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) shall study to examine the standard of rubber granules is desirable.

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