Page 38 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 38

Rubber crumb arti cial
pitch in ll causing
concerns among parents
Keeping children safe is the number one concern for both parents and schools. Yet, while years of experience has taught us what measures need to be put in place to ensure safety – new concerns and worries crop up all the time.
 The past few years has seen increasing coverage about the use of rubber crumb, an ingredient which forms part of many arti cial sports pitches, used throughout the country in schools, leisure facilities and public playgrounds.
Most types of crumb rubber
are made from recycled tyres
and other materials which emit chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These are known carcinogenic chemicals and the concern for many is that the PAHs can be transferred onto the children using these sports pitches. Critically, tests carried out have never been able to give a conclusive answer to the concern that these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin through abrasions or being inhaled or ingested, which can happen when the turf is disturbed.
The strength
of public feeling
In Chicago in the United States, concerns about the safety of
children using an arti cial pitch made with rubber crumb is dominating local news headlines at the moment. In Nile Valley District, a large recreation centre opened towards the end of 2017 and included an arti cial turf  eld with crumb rubber in ll.
Since the installation, a number of parents have raised concerns that the turf in ll is made from recycled tyres and, as such, are refusing to allow their children to use the pitch. The story has been picked up by a leading media organisation and across social media, resulting in a PR nightmare for those who made the decision to install the pitch.
The concerns in Chicago echo worries already raised here in the UK and across the world. Public feeling suggests that the tests which have been done have never conclusively proven that these arti cial pitches are safe, and understandably that means parents
are reluctant to allow their children to use the facilities.
Future-proo ng your
It’s clear that these concerns are not going to go away, and when parents do speak out – as has been seen in Chicago – signi cant media focus is placed upon the decision made to install an arti cial pitch which uses rubber crumb.
What’s frustrating to many parents who voice their concerns is that there are alternatives available. UK- based business Mur tts Industries, a leading supplier of arti cial pitch in ll, launched a revolutionary new type of in ll at the end of 2017. PRO-gran is a Polymeric In ll that is engineered to offer the very best in performance while being safe for players and the environment. The in ll combines the exceptional dynamic properties of rubber but
is then coated in polyurethane in order to make it 100% safe, releasing no PAHs.
It’s been through a rigorous testing programme and exceeds the EU’s toughest standards that are applied to toxicology and toy safety. This means that PRO-gran is one of the few products which can boast it
is 100% safe for people and the environment.
PRO-gran gives an unbeatable playing experience and is much longer lasting that alternative in lls – tests show that it will remain in perfect condition for over 12 years, well beyond the lifetime of a typical pitch.
Mur tts Industries owner Mark Mur tt said: “No parent should have to worry about the health
of their child when they play on
an arti cial pitch. Although the consensus of the studies about rubber crumb is that it causes no signi cant risk to health or the environment, worries remain. After a year of research and development we’re pleased to offer a product that not only eliminates any concern about player or public health, but also creates a more enjoyable playing experience.”
For any school looking to install an arti cial pitch, PRO-gran helps to eliminate the risk of negative feedback from parents and also stands the test of time, protecting children and the pitch for years
to come.
 To find out more about PRO-gran please visit 38 Sport & Sportswear

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