SIDEBAR: Chemicals identified in artificial turf

November 1, 2013 — by Samuel Liu

Testing by the Environment and Health Human, Inc. was conducted under mild conditions. Crumb rubber, the main constituent of artificial turfs, was exposed to water, and the following chemicals were identified. 

1,3-Butadiene: A carcinogen. Has been linked to Leukemia and cardiovascular diseases. 

Benzene: Carcinogen, developmental toxicant, reproductive toxicant. Can cause bone marrow failure, and has been linked to aplastic anemia and acute leukemia.

Phthalates: Suspected developmental toxicant, endocrine toxicant, reproductive toxicant. 

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): Suspected cardiovascular or blood toxicant, gastrointestinal or liver toxicant, reproductive toxicant, respiratory toxicant. High prenatal exposure to PAH is associated with lower IQ and childhood asthma.

Manganese: Neurological toxin. Associated with intellectual impairment. 

Carbon black: Carcinogen, nanoparticles. Has shown to lead to cognitive decline and dementia. It’s allowed in manufactured products because it is usually contained in a matrix that prevents it from escaping. Shredded tires crumbs, however, prove to be an exception. 

Zinc: Present at high levels in tires. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that zinc damages nerve receptors in the nose, which can cause anosmia.

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