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Cancer risk from rubber granules is ‘negligible’, says Dutch study

The Netherlands – Playing sports on artificial turf comprising tyre-derived rubber granules does not significantly increase exposure to carcinogenic chemicals, concludes Dutch health authority RIVM based on new research. The increased risk of cancer is ‘negligible’, it states.

The study follows a report by Dutch broadcaster NOS last October which quoted research from a tyre industry group claiming that the presence of carcinogens in such sports pitches is many times higher than what is allowed in consumer goods. As a result, the city of Amsterdam put a stop on the construction of sports facilities using these rubber pellets.

The new RIVM study looked at 100 facilities in the Netherlands, all using the tyre pellets. The results show ‘a small increased presence’ of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, including derivatives of benzothiazole, phthalate and phenol. RIVM is recommending a wider-scale international study of the rubber granules derived from recycled tyres ‘as regulations governing the practice are inconsistent from country to country’.

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