Following the decision by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) to draft a restriction limiting the quantities of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) allowed in infill materials used in synthetic turf surfaces it became apparent to ESTC that there should be a pan-European method of sampling infills to allow testing to verify that they comply with the restriction. The need was identified to prevent individual countries from introducing their own sampling procedures and making it very difficult for suppliers to comply without complex production procedures. Through our close links with the European Standards Committee CEN TC 217, ESTC proposed that a European Standard for the sampling of performance infills used within synthetic turf surfaces should be developed. This work commenced on March 2018 and ESTC is pleased to be able to advise the formal vote for publication of the European Standard recently closed with a positive outcome. The document is now with CEN and EN 17409: Code of practice for the sampling of performance infills used within synthetic turf surfaces will now be published as European Standard and automatically as a national standard in European countries.
The code of practice describes three procedures: one for sampling during production, one for sampling from deliveries to site, and one for sampling from installed fields. ESTC will ensure that ECHA are aware of the code of practice as soon as it is published and encourage them to refer to it in the restriction they are currently finalising for performance infills.
It is important to note that code of practice does not specify how the PAH content of performance infills should be measured. The European Commission has asked CEN to develop a harmonised test method for measuring the PAH content in rubber and plastic items (For details see https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/new-test-methods-plastic-and-rubber-product-safety). ESTC is not participating in this very specialised topic, but understand that the work is ongoing.