Are Granules and Mulches Safe?

Are Granules and Mulches Safe?


Current concentration limits of eight carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in granules and mulches used in synthetic turf pitches, or in loose forms at playgrounds and other sports facilities might be too high. The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in cooperation with ECHA prepared a proposal that states that the general concentration limits are insufficient for protecting those who come into contact with the granules and mulches while playing at sports facilities and playgrounds such as professional football players (including goalkeepers), children playing on the pitches and on playgrounds, and workers installing and maintaining the pitches and playgrounds.

The proposal suggests a combined concentration limit for the eight PAHs of 17 mg/kg (0.0017 % by weight). The current concentration limits are set at 100 mg/kg for two of the PAHs and 1 000 mg/kg for the other six.

ECHA’s committees will now check whether the restriction dossier conforms to the requirements of REACH. If so, a six-month-long consultation will begin in September 2018. ECHA’s scientific committees will assess the proposal and formulate their opinions, and these will be submitted to the European Commission. In addition to processing the Netherlands’ proposal, ECHA will assess the health risks of other substances that may be contained in granules and mulches used as infill in synthetic sports pitches.


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