1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

August 7, 2008

:220 Lead in Artificial Turf

Filed under: :220 Lead in Artificial Turf — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:50 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:220 EcoTip: I’m beginning to hear more about people choosing to replace their lawns with artificial turf. According to studies conducted by the New Jersey Department of Health and Safety Services many of the artificial turfs they have tested contain lead which may be released and cause an exposure risk. Instead of using artificial turf consider xeriscape (:166).

August 27 Update note: The lead in artificial turf controversy has taken some interesting turns. The CPSC has removed their recommendation to ban artificial turf containing lead, but one company (TenCate Thiolon Artificial Grass) has announced it has take steps to removing lead from it’s products. TenCate states:

The use of artificial turf increases the performance of athletes and reduces the risk of injuries to the player. The installation of TenCate artificial turf eliminates the use of harmful pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides. Artificial turf requires no mowing, fertilizing, reseeding or watering.

For more information see the second comment below with information from “The Association of Artificial & Synthetic Grass Installers”.

The locked gate of an artificial turf soccer field at Frank Sinatra Park in Hoboken, N.J., is seen Thursday, April 17, 2008. This field and one at The College of New Jersey were closed because New Jersey Health Department research showed they contained up to 10 times the amount of lead allowed in soil on contaminated sites that are being redeveloped as residences.  (AP Photo/Mike Derer)


 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :166 

Information provided by NJDHSS to CDC and ATSDR indicates that some of the fields with elevated lead in either dust and/or turf fiber samples were weathered and visibly dusty. Fields that are old, that are used frequently, and that are exposed to the weather break down into dust as the turf fibers are worn or demonstrate progressive signs of weathering, including fibers that are abraded, faded or broken. These factors should be considered when evaluating the potential for harmful lead exposures from a given field.

 General Recommendations on the Use of Fields with Artificial Turf

At this time, CDC does not yet understand the potential risks associated with exposure to dust from worn artificial turf. The following precautions can be taken to minimize any potential risk.

· Field managers should consider implementing dust-suppression measures. Suggestions for dust-suppression methods can be found at NJDHSS’s website, which is provided in the additional information section.

· Children ages 6 and younger are most susceptible to lead’s harmful health effects. To protect the public, in particular young children, consider posting signs indicating that:

1. After playing on the field, individuals are encouraged to perform aggressive hand and body washing for at least 20 seconds using soap and warm water.

2. Clothes worn on the field should be taken off and turned inside out as soon as possible after using the field to avoid tracking contaminated dust to other places. In vehicles, people can sit on a large towel or blanket if it is not feasible to remove their clothes. These clothes, towels, and blankets should be washed separately and shoes worn on the field should be kept outside of the home.

3. Eating while on the field or turf product is discouraged.

4. Avoid contaminating drinking containers with dust and fibers from the field. When not drinking, close them and keep them in a bag, cooler, or other covered container on the side of the field.

For additional information about testing, dust suppression measures, and other topics related to NJDHSS’s work to address lead in artificial turf visit NJDHSS’s artificial turf website at <http://www.state.nj.us/health/artificialturf/index.shtml> http://www.state.nj.us/health/artificialturf/index.shtml.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates consumer products, including artificial turf. Additional information about CPSC and artificial turf can be found at <http://www.cpsc.gov/> http://www.cpsc.gov.

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