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ETRMA ENCOURAGES LISTENING TO SCIENCE WHEN DEBATING ABOUT THE SAFETY OF CRUMB RUBBER INFILL

The Dutch lawmakers have presented a new proposal addressing the issue of recycled rubber infill’s health risk and introducing content limits for eight PAHs used as components of synthetic turf surfacing, playgrounds and sports fields.

At the same time, additional studies on how PAHs impact the environment are likely to be carried out; the researches might result in a new proposal suggesting impose limits on more substances found in end-of-life tires next year, Secretary General of the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association stated when addressing visitors of the BIR Tyres & Rubber Committee.

According to the chair of the committee meeting and the head of Dutch company RecyBEM, the organization anticipates the verdict of European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) as it will continue studying possible impacts of the PAHs on human health.

RecyBEM head also noted that recent data showed that the prevailing part of all European scrap tires (around 1.4 million tons each year) are likely to become a recovered material such as granulate, which still struggles to find end-use applications. In addition, she stressed that media’s negative portrayal of rubber granulate has resulted in closing of a big number of outlets for rubber infill; moreover, many municipalities now use it much less.

Even though the industry puts serious efforts to advance the application of rubber infill, the US market has witnessed decline by approximately 30% since 2015-2016 due to unfavorable media coverage connected to health risks of the material which come amid publications of approximately 100 researchers that have found that the material does not provide a threat to human health, President of ISRI said.

In addition, ISRI is expected to share the findings of a new investigation of possible threats later this year, which will be reviewed by the US Congress prior to its release.

Moreover, a tire expert Gary Champlin shared ISRI’s stance and emphasized that it is essential to pay the closest attention to what science says, not to allow emotions rule in this debate.

The speaker went on noting that it was crucial to search for new markets for granulate stressing that asphalt rubber has the highest potential and it has already showed it in the United States.

Article by Waste Management World

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