Background: Artificial sports fields are increasingly being used for sports. Recycled rubber from automotive and truck scrap rubber tires are used as an infill material for football grounds. There are concerns that football players may be at risk due to exposure from released compounds from rubber infill. Compounds from crumb infill may be inhaled and dermal exposure may occur. A study was performed to assess the exposure of football players to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons due to sporting on synthetic ground with rubber crumb infill.
Methods: In this study, football players were trained and had a match on the artificial turf pitch during 2.5 h. They had an intensive skin contact with rubber infill. All urine of seven nonsmoking football players was collected over a 3-day period, the day before sporting, the day of sporting and the day after sporting. Urine samples were analyzed for 1-hydroxypyrene. Confounding exposure from environmental sources and diet was controlled for.
Results: The individual increase of the amount of excretion over time was used as a measure to assess the uptake of PAH. It appeared that the baseline of excreted 1-hydroxypyrene in 4 of 7 volunteers was sufficient stable and that 1 volunteer out of 4 showed after the 2.5-h period of training and match on the playground an increase in hydroxypyrene in urine. However, concomitant dietary uptake of PAH by this volunteer was observed.
Conclusions: This study provides evidence that uptake of PAH by football players active on artificial grounds with rubber crumb infill is minimal. If there is any exposure, than the uptake is very limited and within the range of uptake of PAH from environmental sources and/or diet.