10 Jan 2017

You may be aware that in recent days there have been some further articles in the press on the subject of the safety of the rubber infill used in artificial 3G pitches.

This is the same issue that was raised in early December, and which was addressed by Professor Eric Harrison, consultant to World Rugby and FIFA, when he spoke at the information-sharing session hosted by the HKRU on 7th December.

The suggestion that the PAH levels in the test results published in the SCMP on 9/1/17 exceed the relevant EU safety levels is incorrect – the report appears to have referred to the wrong set of metrics and the PAH levels measured are well within the appropriate levels laid down by the EU for the relevant regulation. This was confirmed in a second article published in the SCMP on 10/1/17 , which states:

EU legislation regulating rubber components in consumer products states that “articles” ranging from sports equipment to household utensils containing more than 1mg/kg should not be sold to the public.

But the European Commission concluded in a meeting last March that rubber crumbs were defined as “mixtures” rather than “articles”, and fell within a different regulatory scope.

The levels of PAHs in the Civic Party’s test report did not exceed EU restricted levels on “mixtures”, which had a much higher threshold compared to the law that regulates “articles”.”

At a time when there are increasing concerns about youngsters not taking enough exercise and not leading a balanced lifestyle, it is critical that we are sharing accurate information to the community always.

The Hong Kong Rugby Union places safety and welfare at the top of our priorities, and we are always happy to share information and knowledge with others on this subject.

If anyone would like a copy of Dr Harrison’s presentation please drop a line to [email protected]