New restrictions as regards polycyclic-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in granules or mulches

Commission Regulation (EU) 2021/1199 of 20 July 2021 introduce new restrictions as regards polycyclic-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in granules or mulches used as infill material in synthetic turf pitches or in loose form on playgrounds or in sport applications.
Every day, millions of Europeans play on all-weather sports pitches that use plastic or rubber granules as infill material. Playground surfaces also use loose rubber mulches underneath swings, slides and other playground equipment to cushion the ground when a child falls. The granules and mulches may contain potentially harmful chemicals including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals and phthalates. They may also release volatile and semi-volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOCs and SVOCs).
The EU is taking action to improve the environmental footprint of the pitches and to protect its citizens from hazardous chemicals found in the infill material. The restriction was supported by EU Member States in December 2020 and adopted by the Commission in July 2021.
It prohibits the placing on the market and use of granules and mulches as infill if they contain more than 20 mg/kg of the sum of the eight PAHs. Granules or mulches placed on the market also have to be batch labelled to ensure safe use. The new rules apply in the EU/EEA from 10 August 2022.
It will make playing on artificial sports pitches and playgrounds safer and may help to ease social concerns and worries over playing on artificial sports pitches and playgrounds.
The risks of PAHs to the environment also need to be examined in any future assessments.
Learn how Milestone’s ETHOS X with fastEX-24 rotor can be used for the extraction of PAHs from environmental matrices using the official method EPA 3546.