EU Proposes Restrictions on PAHs in Synthetic Sports Surface Infill Materials

The European Union (EU) has issued a proposal to expand the scope of restrictions on eight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in granules or mulches used in synthetic turf pitch infill materials.

The eight PAHs are:
• Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP)
• Benzo[e]pyrene (BeP)
• Benzo[a]anthracene (BaA)
• Chrysene (CHR)
• Benzo[b]fluoranthene (BbFA)
• Benzo[j]fluoranthene (BjFA)
• Benzo[k]fluoranthene (BkFA)
• Dibenzo[a,h]fluoranthene (DBAhA)

Under the draft regulation, the sum of these eight PAHs must be no more than 20 mg/kg.

The proposal was circulated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on September 8, 2020, attached to WTO document number 20-6061. If adopted, it will expand the scope under entry 50 of Annex XVII of Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 ‘Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH).

Granules and mulches are used as infill material in various situations:
• Synthetic turf pitches
• Playgrounds (loose form)
• Sports application (loose form) – e.g. golf courses, athletic arenas, horse arena footings, nature trails and shooting ranges

Granules and mulches can be made from recycled or virgin materials but are often made from end of life tires (ELT). Entry 50 to Annex XVII of REACH does not currently regulate them as they are classified as ‘mixtures’. They are defined as:

• Granules – mixtures that appear as solid particles, 1 to 4 mm in size and are made of rubber, other vulcanized or polymeric materials
• Mulches – mixtures that appear as flake-shaped solid particles, with a length of 4 to 130 mm and a width of 10 to 15 mm, and are made of rubber, other vulcanized or polymeric materials

It is proposed that the draft document will be adopted in Q1 of 2021. The restrictions would then come into effect twelve months after the date of entry into force (mid-2022).

SGS Chemical Testing Services
With a global network of testing laboratories, SGS can conduct chemical, mechanical or physical property tests to ensure products are safe and compliant with regulations around the world. Learn more about SGS’s Chemical Testing Services. []

SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full EU Proposes to Restrict PAHs in Synthetic Turf Pitch Infill Materials SafeGuardS. []

Subscribe here,, to receive SGS SafeGuardS direct to your inbox.

For further information contact:

HingWo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager
Tel: (+852) 2774 7420
LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail

About SGS
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 89,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.