Artificial turf and fall protection surfaces on playgrounds often contain small grains of rubber or plastic, so-called granules. Granules are used to make the surface soft and elastic/springy. The material can be made from recycled car tyres or from newly manufactured plastic or rubber.
Is it dangerous to use surfaces with granules?
There are no studies that show that it is harmful to health to use artificial turf or other surfaces with granules. However, there are knowledge gaps in the field, and we know that the granules may contain hazardous substances. To ensure safety, it can therefore be good to take some precautions when you plan to use or have used an artificial turf surface or playground with granules. You can, for example
- try to avoid getting granules in your mouth
- brush granules off clothing and shoes to avoid bringing them home
- wash your hands.
How do surfaces with granules affect our environment?
The use of granules on artificial turf and fall protection contributes to increased microplastics in the environment. When it rains or when snow melts on artificial turf or a fall protection surface, hazardous substances can leak out of the material. There is a risk that the substances will spread in the environment and that they will reach our treatment plants. Therefore, the use of granules can contribute to the increased presence of substances that are hazardous to our health and the environment.
Read more about the environmental impact of artificial turf on the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s website. External link.