Crumb Rubber and PAH Regulations

Crumb rubber standards

In July 2021 the EU published a regulation based on recommendations from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), on the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in crumb rubber.

EU Regulations on Crumb Rubber

Regulation 2021/1199 on polycyclic-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), sets the limit of 20 mg/kg for PAH on granules used as infill has been demonstrated to be safe for users and players.

The Risk Assessment Committee of the European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, conducted a thorough assessment on the risk for players, including children, of the use of granules as infill material. It concluded that the threshold of 20 mg/kg for the sum of (listed) PAHs controls the risk and is safe.

The European Risk Assessment on Synthetic Turf Rubber Infill (ERASSTRI) came to a similar conclusion as the ECHA RAC.

The study considered the exposure and potential risks to human health associated with the use of ELT derived rubber granules in synthetic turf fields. Led by expert Consultant FoBiG, in partnership with Eurofins and Labosport, the two-year project performed a detailed risk characterisation and risk assessment on the use of ELT derived rubber granules used as infill material. The study was resourced by ETRMA and other 27 value chain stakeholders.

The Regulation states:

  • Granules or mulches shall not be placed on the market for use as infill material in synthetic turf pitches or in loose form on playgrounds or in sport applications if they contain more than 20 mg/kg (0,002 % by weight) of the sum of all listed PAHs.

  • Granules or mulches shall not be used as infill material in synthetic turf pitches or in loose form on playgrounds or in sport applications if they contain more than 20 mg/kg (0,002 % by weight) of the sum of all listed PAHs.

  • Granules or mulches placed on the market for use as infill material in synthetic turf pitches or in loose form on playgrounds or in sport applications shall be marked with a unique identification number of the batch.

  • The restriction shall apply from 10 August 2022.

  • Granules or mulches that are in use in the Union on 9 August 2022 as infill material in synthetic turf pitches or in loose form on playgrounds or in sport applications may remain in place and continue to be used there for the same purpose.

The regulation will add trust, strengthen the market, and help add transparency on the use of granules as infill material.

This follows investigations in Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands and Portugal that all concluded that there was no, or negligible risk of contamination from playing on artificial turf.

Source: ETRMA

About the author

Ewan has been editor of Retreading Business since 2006 and of Tyre & Rubber Recycling since the magazine was founded. During this period he has become an expert on the global tyre recycling sector. He has many years' experience as an automotive journalist including a period at Tyres & Accessories.

Email: ewan.scott@tyreandrubberrecycling.com

 

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