Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 4980–4992 | Cite as

Environmental–sanitary risk analysis procedure applied to artificial turf sports fields

  • Barbara RuffinoEmail author
  • Silvia Fiore
  • Maria Chiara Zanetti
Research Article


Owing to the extensive use of artificial turfs worldwide, over the past 10 years there has been much discussion about the possible health and environmental problems originating from styrene-butadiene recycled rubber. In this paper, the authors performed a Tier 2 environmental–sanitary risk analysis on five artificial turf sports fields located in the city of Turin (Italy) with the aid of RISC4 software. Two receptors (adult player and child player) and three routes of exposure (direct contact with crumb rubber, contact with rainwater soaking the rubber mat, inhalation of dusts and gases from the artificial turf fields) were considered in the conceptual model. For all the fields and for all the routes, the cumulative carcinogenic risk proved to be lower than 10−6 and the cumulative non-carcinogenic risk lower than 1. The outdoor inhalation of dusts and gases was the main route of exposure for both carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic substances. The results given by the inhalation pathway were compared with those of a risk assessment carried out on citizens breathing gases and dusts from traffic emissions every day in Turin. For both classes of substances and for both receptors, the inhalation of atmospheric dusts and gases from vehicular traffic gave risk values of one order of magnitude higher than those due to playing soccer on an artificial field.


Environmental–sanitary risk analysis Artificial turfs Inhalation Dermal contact Rainwater leaching 



The authors wish to thank the researchers from General and Applied Hygiene Group (MED_42), University of Turin, for their support in the experimental activity.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare they have no actual or potential competing financial interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Ruffino
    • 1
    Email author
  • Silvia Fiore
    • 1
  • Maria Chiara Zanetti
    • 1
  1. 1.DIATI–Department of EnvironmentLand and Infrastructure EngineeringTorinoItaly

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