ECHA has evaluated the risk of substances in recycled rubber that is used on artificial sports pitches. Based on the evidence, ECHA has concluded that the concern for players on these pitches, including children, and for workers who install and maintain them is very low. ECHA will update its evaluation as and when new information becomes available.
Helsinki, 28 February 2017 – In June 2016, the European Commission asked ECHA to evaluate the risk to the general population, including children, professional players and workers installing or maintaining the pitches.
A number of hazardous substances are present in recycled rubber granules, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals, phthalates, volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOCs) and semi-volatile organic hydrocarbons (SVOCs). Exposure to these substances through skin contact, ingestion and inhalation was considered.
Based on the information available, ECHA concludes that there is, at most, a very low level of concern from exposure to recycled rubber granules:
- The concern for lifetime cancer risk is very low given the concentrations of PAHs typically measured in European sports grounds.
- The concern from metals is negligible given that the data indicated that the levels are below the limits allowed in the current toys legislation.
- No concerns were identified from the concentrations of phthalates, benzothiazole and methyl isobutyl ketone as these are below the concentrations that would lead to health problems.
- It has been reported that volatile organic compounds emitted from rubber granules in indoor halls might cause irritation to the eyes and skin.