The Leading Journal for the Tyre Recycling Sector

The Leading Journal for the Tyre Recycling Sector

The Crumb Rubber Sector Again Under ECHA Investigation

Once again Europe has asked the ECHA to look at PAH in crumb rubber

If we thought the question of PAH in crumb rubber had been settled, we were wrong. There are ongoing pressures on politicians to ensure that crumb rubber used in sports pitches and in domestic uses is safe for children.

The European Commission has once again asked the European Chemical Agency to look into the PAH content in crumb rubber. The scope of the task is to; “Assess the risks to children posed by PAHs in granules and mulches in loose form in playgrounds, as well as other domestic applications such as gardening and landscaping.”

In July 2021, Commission Regulation (EU) 2021/1199 set a concentration limit of 20mg per kilogram as the sum of eight Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) in granulate for use in infill, and in granules and mulches in loose form in playgrounds.

Some states have raised questions about the permitted levels of PAH and as a result the EC has asked the Risk Assessment Committee of the ECHA to look again at the PAH content in rubber in respect of children’s health.

The investigation is to specifically assess the risks to children.

The process, depending upon the outcome may see a refined risk assessment, followed by a development of an Annex XV report to the Register of Intentions. If the report proposes further restrictions, these will be submitted to the ECHA RAC for opinion-making.

The request has come from the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMES, and the Directorate General for Environment. One cannot help but feel that the odds are stacked against crumb rubber. Increasingly, the evidence is starting to add up, whether we like it or not. However, the industry and the European Commission need to start talking and joining the dots. It is easy to find the problems, but not so easy to find the solutions.