A RECYCLED PRODUCT MADE FROM MARKET-APPROVED TIRES
All Genan rubber products are guaranteed to be made with nothing but end-of-life tires (ELT) as source material.
At our factory in Houston, Texas, only worn-down tires approved for the US market are used as feedstock. At our plants in Denmark, Germany and Portugal, only end-of-life tires approved for the European market are processed.
Although we don’t know exactly how many tires of each type and brand we process each day, we know that all tires recycled comply with the regulations in force at the time they were placed on the market.
Genan rubber powders and granulates are thus very well documented products.
Rubber powder and granulate from end-of-life tires is used in various applications where it is exposed to the public. Best known application is rubber crumb in synthetic turf fields.
In recent years, there has been quite an extensive media coverage of crumb rubber – especially with focus on Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their potential carcinogenic effects.
Numerous scientific studies have addressed this issue; and globally, more than 70 studies based on experimental data have been carried out, concluding that there is no significant or scientifically justified risk associated with the use of rubber granulate made from end-of-life tires.
BUT WHAT IS PAH – AND WHICH REGULATIONS APPLY?
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons – or PAHs for short – are a group of chemicals which occur naturally in coal, crude oil and petrol. In the production of new tires, they are added as plasticizers.
In the EU, eight specific PAHs commonly used for the manufacture of tires have been identified as posing a potential health risk in high concentrations.
As early as in 2010, the EU REACH regulation consequently introduced a limit of 10 mg/kg as the maximum content for the sum of these 8 PAHs – to apply to all new tires placed on the EU market, be they manufactured in Europe or imported from overseas.
Since then, there has been an ongoing discussion about the content of these 8 PAH substances in rubber from end-of-life tires.
Realistically taking into consideration the time it would take to phase out tires manufactured prior to 2010 and thus already in use in the market, the ECHA Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) – as well as the Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) – recommended a maximum limit of 20 mg/kg in rubber from end-of-life tires.
The suggested 20 mg/kg limit was later adopted by the European Parliament on 20 July 2021.
Good and sustainable eco-design works long term; and the PAH content in ELT rubber produced by Genan is now far below this 20 mg/kg limit – worldwide.