Brussels — In November 2016, European Chemicals Agency ECHA released a „Call for evidence on the use of recycled rubber granules used as infill material in synthetic turf“. ETRA, the European Tyre Recycling Association, has now issued a document to ECHA responding to the question surrounding the use of Styrene Butadiene crumb rubber infill in artificial turf.
The main argument against the use of crumb rubber infill is that it contains a number of potentially harmful chemicals. However, these chemicals are not „bioavailable“, which means that these chemicals are not released in contact with the water or air or skin. ETRA has responded that since the larger particles of rubber used in infill are not subject to road abrasion to create dust, there is less likelihood that there could be the same exposure to particles in the air. If there are Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) in the air, these are due to vehicle or combustion pollution, not to a release from SBR granulate.
Furthermore, ETRA points to research that shows that SBR rubber infill is not exposed to solvents that would degrade the crumb rubber pellets and release contaminants in contact with human skin: For this reason, there is no risk. Despite the lack of risk from PAH contained in SBR granulate, these chemicals have, in fact, been banned from tyres manufactured in the European Union since 2010.
The response directs readers to a number of surveys and articles that validate the case that for the use of high quality crumb rubber infill. Full access to the response is available under etra-eu.org.
Source: European Tyre Recycling Association