Artificial pitches: ‘rubber granulate contain 190 potential cancer-causing substances”

In the French voetbalblad SoFoot warn two experts on the risks of the rubber granulate in artificial turf fields.

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‘Rubber granulate contain 190 chemical substances that are potentially carcinogenic.’ That ominous statement, the title above an interview in the French voetbalblad SoFoot with Vasilis Vasiliou and Salmaan Inayat-Hussain.

The first is a toxicologist and professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, the second is a toxicologist who specializes in the mechanisms of toxicity. The two have examined the harmful substances in the small black rubber granulate sit in large numbers on artificial turf fields can find. The results of that research will be in one of the upcoming weeks will be published.

305 chemical substances

The result is reasonable hallucinatory: of the 305 chemical substances that are in such pellets are contained, there are 190 possible carcinogen. The grains are actually crushed old tires.

‘There are already numerous chemical substances,” says Inayat-Hussain. ‘Instead of beads to make, there are still even other chemical products added to it. That explains the presence of many chemicals in those grains.’


The risk of exposure to possible cancer-causing substances turns out to be quite high. “Many of these particles are volatile, so we can get them to breathe, especially when it’s warm,” explains Inayat-Hussain. “We can also be exposed by direct contact with the skin or with blood, when it burns after a fall. Trainers say that a lot of players, and especially goalies, continue to continue to play with an injury, and then grains in those wounds.”

Vasiliou adds: ‘If you have children on an artificial turf have seen play football, then you know that they that grains sometimes swallowed. And even after a match, you’re still exposed. Those grains that stick and you’re never totally rid of it. They end up in your washing machine or your dryer, where they are in the water or to high temperatures warmed up. As there are free particles. There are really very many ways in which you are exposed can be.’

A carcinogen?

In such a study, people react often with the slogan: ‘Today, you all get cancer.’ Vasiliou responds: “a Lot of people think so, but it’s not just about cancer. It can also lead to asthma, allergic reactions, and so on. Moreover, you need to understand that this problem is in addition to the pollution is where you are each day to deal with, such as the air pollution.’

“What the carcinogenic risk,’ is going Vasiliou continued, ” we know that a single molecule of your DNA can do to mutate and cause cancer. So you can’t say: ‘I’ve been exposed to a lot of pollutants, so that grains will not change.’ Yes, it can change everything!’

“But I understand it: even my neighbors let their children on such areas, even if they know the risks.’

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