PAH! Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

PAH! Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Does this mean anything to you?  For most these words will look like they’re in a different language, but it’s useful to know what this is and how it affects us as a global community.  Maybe you have heard of PAHs and maybe you haven’t.  Why should you care about them?  

PAH moleculesWell, let me explain, PAH is an acronym for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.  PAHs are hydrocarbons (an organic compound containing only carbon and hydrogen) and are made up of over 100 different chemicals.  PAHs are found in things like oil, coal and in tar.  They can also be produced by the incomplete combustion of organic matter e.g in engines, incinerators, forest fires, and volcanic eruptions.  Following me so far?

So why do PAHs matter to us?

There are several health risks from over-exposure to PAHs [1] and there are several existing restrictions in place to prevent over exposure to harmful levels of PAHs.

The level of human exposure to PAHs varies across the globe.  An example is emissions from vehicles such as cars and trucks which can be a substantial outdoor source of PAHs in particulate air pollution.[10][12]   Smog in Cairo, Egypt. Particulate air pollution, including smog, is a substantial avenue for human exposure to PAHs.

Restricting consumer and worker exposure to PAHs

People can also be occupationally exposed during work to fumes or exhausts from industrial activities, production or manufacturing processes. 

Some governmental bodies, including the European Union as well as NIOSH and the Environmental Protection Agency in the US, regulate concentrations of PAHs in the air, water, and soil.[66] The European Commission has restricted concentrations of 8 carcinogenic PAHs in consumer products that contact the skin or mouth.[67]

Germany took the lead in August 2014 by tightening the restrictions for human PAHs exposure in consumer products[2].  The German Committee for Technical Equipment and Consumer Products (AfPS) published a new set of mandatory requirements for limits on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in products that are subject to GS Certification, which became effective on July 1, 2015.

Products covered under the scope of these requirement includes:

  • Electrical and electronic products
  • Toys
  • Food packaging materials
  • Plastic products
  • Rubber products
  • Machinery

The guidelines split the limit for PAHs in the New Standard into 3 categories:

Category 1: Materials intended to be put in the mouth, or materials of toys with intended use on long-term skin contact (longer than 30 seconds).

Category 2: Materials not covered by Category 1, with foreseeable skin contact for longer than 30 seconds (long-term skin contact) or repeated short-term skin contact.

Category 3: Materials not covered by Category 1 or 2 with foreseeable skin contact up to 30 seconds (short-term skin contact).

Notrax® rubber mats meet PAH requirements and contain less than <1 mg/kg of PAHs

As a manufacturer of rubber mats, all Notrax® matting is manufactured of the highest quality material and workmanship. Our vast experience has taught us that a superior quality product will stand the test of time.  Our best selling products continue to exceed the expectations of our customers and distributors by meeting specific quality criteria of durability, comfort and safety.  To adhere to these strict durability and safety requirements, all Notrax products endure rigorous testing by independent test facilities to certify that each mat meets the highest norms and standards.

Notrax PAH 3 pictogram
As PAHs can be found in rubber products, Notrax® rubber matting products have been tested by TUV SUD in the Netherlands and have received a certified Category 3 rating.  This means that our products contain less than <1 mg/kg of PAHs and meet the new guidelines set by the AtAV.  

Visit our website and use the PAH3 pictogram filter to discover our range of category 3 certified rubber products.

For a list of PAH chemicals, read more:


Featured Notrax® PAH3 Products

757 Rib n Roll P3 fine rib rubber runner mat

757 Rib ‘n’ Roll P3™ 3mm fine rib

  • Fine rib anti-slip profile
  • Thickness: 3 mm
  • Material: SBR rubber
  • Tested and certified PAH Class 3 according to ZEK 01.4-08 for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) standard AfPS GS 2014:01
742 Rib n Roll P3 smooth rubber runner mat

742 Table Tac P3™ 3 mm smooth

  • Smooth anti-slip profile
  • Thickness: 3 mm
  • Material: SBR rubber
  • Tested and certified PAH Class 3 according to ZEK 01.4-08 for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) standard AfPS GS 2014:01
040 Slabmat Carre Shock Absorbing Mat Interlocking Tiles

040 Slabmat Carré™ Shock Absorbing Mat

  • Indestructible and shock-absorbing
  • Material: tough rubber compound
  • Thickness: 13 mm
  • 91 cm x 91 cm interlocking modular tiles
  • Tested and certified PAH Class 3 according to ZEK 01.4-08 for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) standard AfPS GS 2014:01