A carefully controlled material

Occupational health

Low health risks related to exposures in tyre manufacturing company
The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), 2016.

A research project entitled ‘Occupational exposure to some endocrine disrupting phthalates and phenols in Finland’ was conducted by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) in 2014‒2016. It was funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund, and its aim was to assess occupational exposure to some phthalates and phenols (resorcinol and nonylphenols) in Finland.
Three workers were occupationally exposed to resorcinol in the tyre manufacturing company. Exposure was below biomonitoring equivalents estimated on the basis of health-based limit values (DNEL, ADI, OEL). This means that health risks related to exposure are low.

Three workers were occupationally exposed to resorcinol in the tyre manufacturing company. Exposure was below biomonitoring equivalents estimated on the basis of health-based limit values (DNEL, ADI, OEL). This means that health risks related to exposure are low.
Link to full research (in Finnish with English abstract)

Circular economy and health: opportunities and risks
WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2018.

A transition to circular economy provides a major opportunity to yield potentially substantial health
benefits while contributing to the attainment of a number of Sustainable Development Goals. The benefits are both direct, such as savings in the health care sector, and indirect, from reduced environmental impacts of production and consumption. There are also risks of unintended adverse health effects in this transition.

All key stakeholders have important roles in securing health benefits and minimizing health risks, including intergovernmental organizations, governments of WHO Member States, the public sector, the business sector, nongovernmental and civil-society organizations, the research community, the mass media and the general public.
Read full report here.

Public health

“Recycled rubber infill causes a very low level of concern.” ECHA European Chemical Agency, 2017

ECHA has evaluated the risk of substances in recycled rubber that is used on artificial sports pitches. Based on the evidence, ECHA has concluded that the concern for players on these pitches, including children, and for workers who install and maintain them is very low.
Read more.

“Risk assessment studies show no serious risk potential.” Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in consumer goods made from recycled rubber material: A review. Deutsches Institut für Kautschuktechnologie, Hannover, Germany, 2018.

PAHs can be detected in consumer goods made from recycled rubber and are released into the environment. They reach humans via leaching (soil, ground water, rivers), oral intake, dermal exposure and inhalation. Thereby, dermal contact or inhalation is the primary route of exposure, whereas oral intake and environmental pollution are regarded as secondary risks. The amount of PAHs that could potentially harm humans is in the magnitude of urban pollution. Risk assessment studies reviewed in this article show no serious risk potential.
Read more.

Environment

“Evidence on microplastics does not point out widespread risk.” Science Advice for Policy by European Academies, 2019.

The best available evidence suggests that microplastics and nanoplastics do not pose a widespread risk to humans or the environment, except in small pockets. But that evidence is limited, and the situation could change if pollution continues at the current rate.
Read more.

 

“Standardization of monitoring methods within marine regions is recommended to compare and assess microplastics pollution over time.” Frontiers in Marine Science, 2017.

Microplastic contamination was determined in sediments of the Southern North Sea and floating at the sea surface of North West Europe. Floating concentrations ranged between 0 and 1.5 microplastic/m3, whereas microplastic concentrations in sediments ranged between 0 and 3,146 particles/kg dry weight sediment. Standardization of monitoring methods within marine regions is recommended to compare and assess microplastics pollution over time.
Read more.

Circular economy

Implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan
European Comission

On 4 March 2019, the European Commission adopted a comprehensive report on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan. The report presents the main achievements under the Action Plan and sketches out future challenges to shaping our economy and paving the way towards a climate-neutral, circular economy where pressure on natural and freshwater resources as well as ecosystems is minimised.

The analysis served to, assess what extent EU policy tools addressing products are supporting circular, sustainable products. There are many policy tools covering all the different products on the EU market, and these tools together provide a great contribution to sustainability.
Follow circular economy proceedings in European Commission.

“Public procurement for a circular economy.” Good practice and guidance. European Comission, 2017.

Circular public procurement is an approach to greening procurement which recognises the role that public authorities can play in supporting the transition towards a circular economy. Circular procurement can be defined as the process by which public authorities purchase works, goods or services that seek to contribute to closed energy and material loops within supply chains, whilst minimising, and in the best case avoiding, negative environmental impacts and waste creation across their whole life-cycle.
Read more.