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Evaluation of health risks of playing sports on synthetic turf pitches with rubber granulate - Scientific background document
Abstract and Figures
New research by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) indicates that the health risk of playing sports on synthetic turf pitches with an infill of rubber granulate is virtually negligible. Therefore, it is considered safe for people to play sports on such pitches. The research was conducted following public concerns prompted by the Dutch TV programme Zembla called ‘Dangerous Play’ in October 2016. RIVM hopes that the results of the research will help to answer questions from ministries, municipalities, sports clubs and parents. To evaluate the health risks of playing sports on rubber granulate, it is important to determine which hazardous substances are contained in the granulate and to what extent they may be released. Subsequently, it should be examined how people playing sports can come into contact with these substances and whether this can lead to health effects. Rubber granulate contains numerous substances, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals, plasticisers (phthalates) and bisphenol A (BPA). These substances were found to be released from the granulate in very low amounts. This is because the substances are more or less ‘enclosed’ in the granulate, which means that the effect of these substances on human health is virtually negligible.
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