A recent article by Professor Andrew Watterson - professor of health effectiveness at the University of Stirling - in Physical Activity Facilities magazine discusses the concerns surrounding rubber crumb infill in artificial turf pitches.
Professor Watterson addresses the issues relating to rubber crumb and whether the concerns are valid. He goes on to discuss the chemicals that are found in SBR and the effects that can occur following exposure to the substances. The article then addresses the issues of absorption of PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons): "the argument is not about whether they are toxic/hazardous, but whether they may be absorbed through the skin and abrasions, inhaled or ingested and, if so, at what level may or will they cause adverse effects."
The article then references The European Chemical Agency's research and the recommendations which included: "... Consider changes to the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation to ensure rubber granules were only supplied with very low concentrations of PAHs and any other relevant hazardous substances".
Professor Watterson then provides his view on what the industry should be doing to ensure the health and safety of those playing on artificial grass pitches: "The industry should increase research on safer alternatives, government should ensure greater oversight of production and use of crumb rubber in playgrounds, kindergartens as well as sports pitches and adopt best standards."
If you would like to read the full article then follow this link, and if you would like to learn more about PRO-gran - an artificial infill that releases no PAHs and is 100% safe for the players and the wider environment - then please follow this link