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Release of particles, organic compounds, and metals from crumb rubber used in synthetic turf under chemical and physical stress

Canepari, Silvia, Castellano, Paola, Astolfi, MariaLuisa, Materazzi, Stefano, Ferrante, Riccardo, Fiorini, Dennis, Curini, Roberta
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.2 pp. 1448-1459
alkanes, cobalt, copper, desorption, electron microscopy, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, headspace analysis, heat treatment, lawns and turf, microextraction, mineral oil, phthalates, plasticizers, rubber, thermoplastics, tires, zinc
The chemical and morphological characteristics of materials released under chemical and physical stress by different rubber granulates used as infill materials in synthetic turf (recycled scrap tires, natural rubber, and a new-generation thermoplastic elastomer) were compared.The headspace solid-phase micro-extraction GC-MS analysis evidenced that at 70 °C natural rubber and thermoplastic elastomer release amounts of organic species much higher than recycled scrap tires. In particular, the desorption of mineral oils, with a prevalence of toxicologically relevant low-viscosity alkanes in the range C17–C22, and plasticizers (diisobutyl phthalate) was clearly evidenced. The new-generation thermoplastic elastomer material also releases butylated hydroxytoluene.In slightly acidic conditions, quite high amounts of bio-accessible Zn, Cu, and Co are released from recycled scrap tires, while natural rubber releases mainly Se and Tl. In contrast, the thermoplastic elastomer does not contain significant concentrations of leachable heavy metals.The formation of small particles, also in the inhalable fraction, was evidenced by electron microscopy after mechanical or thermal treatment of natural rubber.