Further evidence that SBR rubber granules used in artificial pitches is not harmful to users

SBR rubber granules within the artificial turf

SBR rubber granules within the artificial turf

Further evidence to support the conclusion that SBR rubber granules used in artificial pitches are not harmful to users

There have been a number of studies carried out in response to the European Chemicals Agencies (ECHA) call for comments and evidence on recycled rubber granules used in sports surfaces, and to this end they issued a deadline of the 9th January 2017 for submissions. Our colleague on a working group provided this information based on technical work done very recently in Portugal by the CT-181 committee, the Portuguese Technical Commission coordinated by the ONS APIB under the umbrella of IPQ, working as "mirror group" of CEN TC 366. We are grateful that they shared it with us.

This committee provided a number of papers to ECHA in support of evidence that granulated rubber crumb is not harmful to users of artificial surfaces. The work done - all by independent institutions once again concludes that players and indeed workers are not adversely affected by the exposure to SBR rubber crumb infill in artificial pitches or by repeated long-term exposure to SBR granules.

Two papers were of most interest involved testing workers who work in factories which granulate old tyres day in and day out and who are exposed to the materials 8 hours per day for in some cases many years. This paper which involved testing the subject’s urine for pyrene concluded that there was no agent present which would be attributed to exposure to rubber tyre processing in any samples tested. A further study of interest produced by the Institution superior technology (IST) suggests that the harmful materials/constituents contained in the rubber particles we ‘locked in’ such that exposure to the particles did not represent any risk to users of artificial pitches.

As agencies and institutions start to report the results of recent studies then the overwhelming evidence is growing that SBR granules used in artificial pitches is not harmful to users. The Industry welcomes independent studies, reports and scientific data on this matter. We will be very keen to learn the outcome of ECHA’s study with eager anticipation.

Click on the links below

Examination of end of life tyre granules

Preliminary evaluation of exposure to PAHs by workers of processing units in which crumb rubber granulates are produced