Image source:

Since the early 1990s, artificial turf is widely used as a surface for sports fields. Among numerous benefits of the material is its ability to withstand harsh climatic and intensive play conditions. Whereas synthetic turf fields may have different kinds of infill, the most popular infill is crumb rubber from recycled tires.

Over the last decade, concerns on health impact of crumb rubber were repeatedly raised in U.S and EU. To address these concerns, numerous scientific and empirical researches have been carried out. Eventually, all studies concluded that the bulk of crumb rubber infill used in synthetic turf fields pose no threat to athletes’ health. Yet another study carried out recently by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) has corroborated conclusions of the previous researches. In its report from February 28, 2017 ECHA suggests all interested parties such as field owners, clubs, importers, manufacturers and sport associations to perform tests of crumb rubber and convey the results and other information to the public, as well as athletes and players, in an understandable manner.

To support this initiative and facilitate crumb rubber testing, make it easier and provide public access to the data, a new online service was launched by Labosport: TESTYOURINFILL.COM

The new service is now available for U.S. and Europe, while residents of other countries can order similar services by approaching Labosport directly. Testing by Labosport focuses on the latest requirements for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Heavy Metals, as they are substances of the main interest. Reportedly, such testing will enable to identify the nature of infill and its origin. Moreover, it can detect an unusual chemical composition and prevent further use of contaminated material.