Advanced search make you aware of concerns about rubber on 3G football pitches?

(30 Posts)
Wormysquirmy Mon 06-Nov-17 13:54:50

I discovered recently that those little bits of black rubber used to keep the fake grass upright on 3G football pitches is made from recycled tyres. (Which in theory sounds good as they are difficult to dispose of).

There are, however, increasing concerns that these tyres give off carcinogenic materials. This might particularly affect goalies, who spend more time in close contact with the material but is of concern to anyone, especially young people, who train many hours a week on the material.

Official line is that it's okay, but more recent research from Stirling University suggests there is insufficient testing/evidence of the materials used. In Holland, some of the rubber came from the petrochemical industry and due to concerns, was removed and I understand alternatives found. Meanwhile in the UK, more and more of these pitches are being installed with the official line of "everything is fine". Even the studies themselves only test for certain substances - it's not known what other substances are given off.

It strikes me that if it illegal to bury tyres at landfill due to concerns about toxins, why on earth is it okay for our children to be able to play on it? Who thought this was a good idea? The industry that decided to make some money from recycling hazardous waste?!

I'm not trying to be alarmist here but am horrified at the lack of testing and foresight in this. It sounds like asbestos all over again.

Wormysquirmy Mon 06-Nov-17 15:03:49


EmilyChambers79 Mon 06-Nov-17 15:17:23

Asbestos didn't ever go away, I lost my Dad to Mesothelioma two years ago and we are now experiencing the third generation of asbestos sufferers. We are going to be heading into a 4th as Asbestos is still present in a lot of schools in the UK. My Son's school for example has asbestos on all of the classrooms and it is broken in several of them.

There is a petition currently going round for the Government to make proper legislation and to keep proper records of buildings which contain asbestos, that is maintained properly and safely and is disposed of safely.

Absolutely god awful stuff.

What is the current health concerns with respect to the use of tyres?

TroubleinDaFamily Mon 06-Nov-17 15:22:35

I was laughed at when I raised these concerns at arugby club meeting about three years ago. Two of the year group members have since apologised to me.

Wormysquirmy Mon 06-Nov-17 15:43:23

I didn't realise we were STILL dealing with asbestos. I knew it had been removed from my child's school. This stuff makes me so mad.

Which is why I'm cross about this as what if this stuff is very carcinogenic and our kids have it all over them?

(how rude to laugh Trouble. I suspect lots of people laughed when concerns were raised about asbestos, too)

What annoys me the most is that we have Health and Safety legislation gone bananas in this country, yet it's perfectly okay for kids to play football on recycled industrial waste that isn't fit for landfill nor burning. Something has gone far wrong...

hotbutteredcrumpetsandtea Mon 06-Nov-17 15:44:48

I'm not trying to be alarmist here but am horrified at the lack of testing and foresight in this. It sounds like asbestos all over again

I do think you are actually trying to be alarmist. Is there any evidence at all of any danger?

Wormysquirmy Mon 06-Nov-17 15:54:08

Well of course it can be downplayed and I don't understand why we can't take a precautionary principle to these things in the first place. Why even wait for the evidence? Why not assess whether it's a good idea to consume and rub injuries in recycled road tyres in the first place, if we know the toxins shouldn't be buried or burned?

Anyway, yes there is evidence - guy from Stirling Uni this presented a study suggesting precisely that in 2016. The Dutch have already taken action.

hotbutteredcrumpetsandtea Mon 06-Nov-17 16:05:01

There doesn't seem to be anything to downplay. You're just making assertions based on your uninformed logic.

You said in the OP that the study from Stirling only said there was a lack of testing, that does not mean there is any evidence of danger. And you said that the Dutch stuff came from an industry that you don't know is being used here.
So again, do you have any actual basis in fact or are you just going with "doesn't sound good to me"?

EmilyChambers79 Mon 06-Nov-17 16:05:04

1st generation are the people who produced the asbestos, 2nd generation are the people who worked with it (car manufacturers, butchers, pipe fitters, factory workers etc) 3rd generation, which is smaller, are wives and children of 2nd generation workers who were in close contact with the 2 generation and their work clothes. At a recent talk, one man told us how his Dad contracted mesothelioma from his Dad, who used to lay his thick winter coat over him of a night to keep him warm. His dad worked with asbestos and had the fibres on his coat which his son then inhaled. 4th generation will be people affected by modern day asbestos (clearing it up and broken asbestos in the "modern" world)

There's a council, I think it's over East Midlands way, who are trying to get permission to build a housing development. Currently, there are some woods there and a play park. The estate would eradicate the woods which is a problem in itself but on the site of the woods used to be an asbestos producing factory. Obviously this has been shut down and bulldozed.

However, there are asbestos fibres buried in the earth around the woodland from where they settled. Over time, they have buried further underground. To build on this site would mean disturbing this asbestos. Because it's broken up, it can't be removed. 1 asbestos fibre is thinner than 1 single human hair and inhaling one can cause asbestosis. My Dad was exposed to 6 months of asbestos as a pipe fitter and 45 years later, it developed into Mesothelioma.

He was diagnosed in the March, died the following November with only 1/4 of a lung working. The one had collapsed under the weight of the cancer tumor and the other was filled with fluid and tumours.

Digging up this woodland would mean the asbestos would be inhaled by workers and would be in the surrounding environment, it would settle but would then end up in people's back gardens, where it will get dug up each time they do their garden.

By not recording where it is and how it's dealt with, it means those responsible actually escape responsibility and liability as there is no record. Government compensation only pays out if the person diagnosed is alive. We received a letter saying my Dad was eligible for £125 thousand compensation. He died a week later and the cheque was returned.

etap Mon 06-Nov-17 16:12:17

It's fine

MyGuideJools Mon 06-Nov-17 16:30:55

My dad died of mesothelioma 8 weeks ago. He last worked with asbestos 50 years ago. We can't get compensation for him unless we find someone who he worked with 50 years ago confused
I don't know anything about rubber football pitches but it doesn't sound good.

Wormysquirmy Mon 06-Nov-17 16:56:10

I find that remarkable and worrying Emily. it sounds completely against common sense to disturb the asbestos. I'm sorry for anyone who has lost someone to mesothelioma. My own dad also worked with it 40 years or so ago and is okay so far but has lost many former colleagues. I have no idea why he is okay himself but know that could change.

Turning to your point crumpets, that's exactly it. It doesn't sound good to me; it sounds utterly rank. You would think we would have learnt our lessons by now in relation to these things (not just asbestos but smoking or thalidomide or even BPA in bottles).

We say it's fine until it's too late.

I would take issue with the "uninformed" bit. If you read the study from 2017 yourself, it makes for sobering reading. There are alternatives which are more expensive but are already there. We don't get the so called "basis in fact" until it's too late. I'm arguing for changes before then.

hotbutteredcrumpetsandtea Mon 06-Nov-17 17:06:49

You can't argue for changes, you don't know if its actually something that needs to be changed.

Wormysquirmy Mon 06-Nov-17 17:17:26

Of course we can if we think there is insufficient evidence of safety.

Let's turn this on its head. Why place recycled pieces of tire on children's football pitches without the evidence that it's safe to do so, if it's known that these products can't be buried or burned, due to the release of toxins?

Sometimes I think I must be going mad. That flagrantly and absolutely sounds like complete negligence to me in the same vein as all the other things we have been reassured about over the years and then have proven to be issues.

I very much hope I'm proven wrong and it's fine otherwise the impact will be catastrophic.

I should add I don't even have kids that play on this stuff!

hotbutteredcrumpetsandtea Mon 06-Nov-17 17:22:37

Of course we can if we think there is insufficient evidence of safety

Yes but that isn't what you are saying. You are asserting dangers with no evidence.
We don't have sufficient evidence of safety for most things. The absence of proof of safety does not mean something is unsafe

What you are doing is saying that you with (I'm guessing) no scientific background find something that sounds dangerous to you. And you are trying to get us all to agree that it is terrible and something must be done.
No. Not without a shred of evidence.

Wormysquirmy Mon 06-Nov-17 17:26:49

then you and I think differently I'm afraid. "all fine here, nothing to be seen".

I don't need you to agree with me.

And I do have a science background but what relevance is that? Research papers aren't the holy grail in terms of their ability to be read. If history teaches us anything then it's the requirement to question everyone and especially those who proclaim to be "experts".

hotbutteredcrumpetsandtea Mon 06-Nov-17 17:28:15

Appears so. I have science and common sense on my side and you have "won't anyone think of the children" on yours.

There may or may not be an issue here. But this could not really be a worse way to go about highlighting it if there is a problem.

hotbutteredcrumpetsandtea Mon 06-Nov-17 17:29:29

Oh and people who put experts in quotes, in a Trumpian, Brexit-era, we don't trust actual experts we prefer the man in the streets opinion he just plucked out of his arse, type way are never to be listened to.

Oinkyoinky Mon 06-Nov-17 17:33:51

I remember seeing this in the news a while ago:

AnnabellaH Mon 06-Nov-17 17:36:07

Emilychambers79 that already exists. It's a requirement to have an asbestos register and to maintain it and encapsulate it properly if it can't be removed at the time. FYI... this can be done with PVA solution. It is really that simple. That's what they use, I've worked for a removal firm. It's also a legal requirement to dispose of it properly. Alsager is a specialist landfil site where the majority of it goes.

Also the type of asbestos in classrooms/risers/ceilings is absolutely minimal risk unless your child is scraping it and inhaling it. Even then they'd have to inhale the equivalent of a whole teaspoon for the odds of the fibres sticking.

The next generation will be the women who had their head under dryers in the salons in the 70s/80s/90s and hairdressers. It was still common to have it in old model overhead driers for decades.

Wormysquirmy Mon 06-Nov-17 17:58:20

Actually crumpet you do sound a lot like the kind of person who denies climate change too.

You take your common sense and I will happily keep mine. Anyway, you aren't concerned and that is up to you.

I'm trying to raise awareness so that people at least have the option to think for themselves

hotbutteredcrumpetsandtea Mon 06-Nov-17 18:04:15

Actually crumpet you do sound a lot like the kind of person who denies climate change too

Not even remotely, and the fact you would say that shows you don't understand the topic, or how science works, or my posts.

You are not trying to raise awareness, because you don't seem to have any in the first place..

Wormysquirmy Mon 06-Nov-17 18:06:42

I'm guessing you work for a crumb rubber company.

Thanks for the link oinky. I have to hope that this issue has its profile raised.

EmilyChambers79 Mon 06-Nov-17 18:16:54

Also the type of asbestos in classrooms/risers/ceilings is absolutely minimal risk unless your child is scraping it and inhaling it. Even then they'd have to inhale the equivalent of a whole teaspoon for the odds of the fibres sticking

I've successfully got our local primary school closed down to deal with the asbestos. It was a year long campaign with backing from Mesothelioma UK. They removed and rebuilt part of the school.

I'm currently working on a campaign to get my son's classroom mended. There is broken asbestos in the classroom and so far, I've managed to get the classroom put out of use. We have Health and Safety Inspector coming out this week to assess it.

You actually sound super patronising in your posts. I've lived and cared for someone whose died of Mesothelioma and I'm heavily involved with Mesothelioma UK and raising awareness. I'm fully aware and could never take such a relaxed attitude as you appear to have to it, as though I'm going ott.

3GRubberCrumbHarmsOurChildren Tue 26-Jun-18 10:35:19

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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