Debate Continues on Safety of Artificial Turf Fields

An August 27 Gazette article highlights the ongoing debate about the safety of artificial turf fields for both people and the environment.

Depending on who is talking, synthetic turf fields are either the environmentally sound wave of the future or a yet-to-be-fully known threat to humans and the Earth.  …

As the debate goes on, federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, still are measuring the risks that might be posed by direct and environmental exposure to chemicals in grass yarns and in crumbed tire rubber, widely used as infill “dirt” by various brands of synthetic turf fields.

Although most fans and detractors agree man-made turf fields have improved since the debut of “astro turf” in the 1960s — which was widely panned as unforgiving and more likely to cause injuries — concerns about high surface temperatures, abrasions and infections, as well as inhalable and absorbable toxins, persist. 

December 11, 2009 Conduit Street post on EPA study of use of recycled tire material for playgrounds and artificial turf fields

December 2009 EPA Study

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