Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/26157
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Artificial Turf: Contested Terrains for Precautionary Public Health with Particular Reference to Europe?
Author(s): Watterson, Andrew
Keywords: artificial synthetic pitches
play surfaces
public health
crumb rubber
tires
Issue Date: Sep-2017
Citation: Watterson A (2017) Artificial Turf: Contested Terrains for Precautionary Public Health with Particular Reference to Europe?, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14 (9), Art. No.: 1050.
Abstract: Millions of adults, children and teenagers use artificial sports pitches and playgrounds globally. Pitches are artificial grass and bases may be made up of crumb rubber from recycled tires or new rubber and sand. Player injury on pitches was a major concern. Now, debates about health focus on possible exposure and uptake of chemicals within pitch and base materials. Research has looked at potential risks to users from hazardous substances such as metals, volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons including benzo (a) (e) pyrenes and phthalates: some are carcinogens and others may be endocrine disruptors and have developmental reproductive effects. Small environmental monitoring and modelling studies, often with significant data gaps about exposure, range of substances monitored, occupational exposures, types of surfaces monitored and study length across seasons, indicated little risk to sports people and children but some risk to installation workers. A few, again often small, studies indicated potentially harmful human effects relating to skin, respiration and cancers. Only one widely cited biomonitoring study has been done and no rigorous cancer epidemiological studies exist. Unravelling exposures and uptake over decades may prove complex. European regulators have strengthened controls over crumb rubber chemicals, set different standards for toys and crumb rubber pitches. Bigger US studies now underway attempting to fill some of the data gaps will report between 2017 and 2019. Public health professionals in the meantime may draw on established principles to support greater caution in setting crumb rubber exposure limits and controls.
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14091050
Rights: © 2017 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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