alexa Release of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Heavy Metals from Rubber Crumb in Synthetic Turf Fields: Preliminary Hazard Assessment for Athletes

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Release of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Heavy Metals from Rubber Crumb in Synthetic Turf Fields: Preliminary Hazard Assessment for Athletes

Synthetic turf, made with an infill of rubber crumb from used tyres or virgin rubber, is now common in many sporting facilities. It is known that it contains compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals. We evaluated in nine samples of rubber crumb the total content of some heavy metals (Zn, Cd, Pb, Cu, Cr, Ni, Fe) normally found in tyres by microwave mineralization and the levels of the 14 US EPA priority PAHs by Soxhlet extraction and HPLC analysis. The results showed high levels of PAHs and zinc in all rubber crumb samples compared to rubber granulate limits set by Italian National Amateur League (LND). Following the precautionary principle, a risk assessment at 25°C was done, using the Average Daily Dose (ADD) assumed by athletes, expressed in terms of mass of contaminant per unit of body weight per day (mg/kg day), and the Lifetime Average Daily Dose (LADD) and then evaluating the Hazard Index (HI) and the Cumulative Excess Cancer Risk (ΣECR). In the different rubber granulates samples the HI ranges from a minimum of 8.94×10-7 to a maximum of 1.16×10-6, while the ΣECR ranges from a minimum of 4.91×10-9 to a maximum of 1.10×10-8. Finally, the aim of this study was to estimate the “hazard” for athletes inhaling PAHs released at the high temperatures this synthetic turf may reach. Then a sequence of proofs was carried out at 60°C, a temperature that this rubber crumb can easily reach in sporting installations, to see whether PAH release occurs. The toxicity equivalent (TEQ) of evaporates from rubber crumb is not negligible and represents a major contribution to the total daily intake of PAHs by different routes.

 
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