China has published GB 36246-2018 for synthetic surfaces in sports areas for primary and secondary schools. The requirements became effective on November 1, 2018.

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Over the years, concerns have been raised about the safety of synthetic surfaces in sports areas in China, especially when they are used in sports areas in primary and secondary schools. These concerns stem from, in part, the use of materials typically derived from scrap tires. 

On May 14, 2018, China published a new national standard, GB 36246-2018 ‘Sports areas with synthetic surfaces for primary and middle schools’ [1] to enhance the safety of synthetic surfaces in sports venues in schools. This mandatory standard defines specific requirements and replaces GB/T 19851.11-2005 ‘Sports equipment and playground for middle school and primary school Part 11: Synthetic surfaced athletic ground’, a recommended (voluntary) standard for synthetic surfaces in sports venues in schools.

This new national standard is applicable to new, renovated and expanded outdoor sports venues containing synthetic surfaces for competition, training, teaching and other activities in primary and secondary schools. The new standard has undergone major revisions, including requirements for design and installation processes, physical and mechanical properties, aging resistance, hazardous substances and odor in synthetic materials, finished products and raw materials. It also details sampling requirements, rules for inspection and standard methods to be used.

This new mandatory standard became effective on November 1, 2018.

Highlights of the requirements for chemicals and odor for products containing in-situ casting and prefabricated surfaces (现浇型和预制型面层成品) are summarized in Table 1.

Test Test Item Requirement
DBP, BBP and DEHP ≤ 1.0 g/kg (sum of 3 phthalates)
DNOP, DINP and DIDP ≤ 1.0 g/kg (sum of 3 phthalates)
18 Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
≤ 50 mg/kg (sum of 18 PAHs)
≤ 20 mg/kg for the top 5 mm of the surface material (sum of 18 PAHs)
Benzo [a] pyrene ≤ 1.0 mg/kg
Short chain chlorinated paraffins(C10-C13) ≤ 1.5 g/kg
3,3'-Dichloro-4,4'-diaminodiphenylmethane (MOCA) ≤ 1.0 g/kg
Free toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and free hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) ≤ 0.2 g/kg (sum of TDI and HDI)
Free diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) ≤ 1.0 g/kg
Soluble lead ≤ 50 mg/kg
Soluble cadmium ≤ 10 mg/kg
Soluble chromium ≤ 10 mg/kg
Soluble mercury ≤ 2 mg/kg
Total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) ≤ 5.0 mg/m²h
Formaldehyde ≤ 0.4 mg/m²h
Benzene ≤ 0.1 mg/m²h
Toluene, xylene and ethylbenzene ≤ 1.0 mg/m²h (sum of 3 solvents)
Carbon disulfide ≤ 7.0 mg/m²h
Odor Odor level ≤ 3

Table 1. Requirements for chemicals and odors for products containing in-situ casting and prefabricated surfaces (现浇型和预制型面层成品)


Acronym Phthalate CAS Acronym Phthalate CAS
BBP Butyl benzyl 85-68-7 DIDP Di-isodecyl 26761-40-0 & 68515-49-1
DBP Di-n-butyl 84-74-2 DINP Diisononyl 28553-12-0 & 68515-48-0
DEHP Di(2-ethylhexyl 117-81-7 DNOP Di-n-octyl 117-84-0

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