Tire group to provide free carcinogen tests on artificial sports turf

The Dutch tire industry will reimburse the costs of sports clubs who want to have their artificial turf studied, VACO and Association Band en Milieu announced. Clubs can independently have their turfs tested and the associations will pay them back, ANP reports. 

The associations hope that these studies will lay to rest the commotion that arose earlier this month when Zembla reported that artificial turfs made with rubber granules from recycled tires may contain carcinogens.

Despite this, the associations say they don't understand the commotion. "Dozens" of studies show that the rubber granule involved, SBR, made from car tires is safe. "I let my own grandchildren play on artificial turf", Kees van Oostenrijk of Band and Milieu said o the newspaper.

The use of rubber granules in artificial turf plays an important role in the tire industry's recycling circuit. About 70 percent of collected tires are reused. And a large part of that goes into artificial turfs.

The Netherlands has about 2 thousand artificial turfs. The vast majority of them are made with rubber granules.