PC Declares Artificial Turf Fields Safe


You may have seen reports about a month ago from New Jersey that found high levels of lead in some artificial turf fields.

That led (no pun intended) to that state asking the Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate, which in turn led to panicked rec departments across the country wondering whether their fields were safe.

I contacted Basin Recreation to find out what the story was on the synthetic fields at Quinn's Junction and the Fieldhouse.

After a couple of weeks, I finally got an official response (note that they hadn't even heard that this was an issue until I called). So here's the deal:

Basin Recreation hired RMEC Environmental Inc. to do an independent test of its fields. They took three samples, two showed no measurable lead levels, while the third sample was 100mg per KG, well below the EPA's standard of 400mg/KG. RMEC's report called the level of danger "less than that of bare soil."

The Synthetic Turf Council, the industry's lobbyist/voice in these discussions stated that "no illness has ever been reported due to field exposure." ProGrass LLC, the manufacturer of Park City's fields, said "we are extremely committed to the safety of the public. This turf is safe for people of all ages."

So there you have it, much ado about nothing. Expect crazy headlines from the Park Record in the days to come that completely contradict the story ("Basin Rec Concerned About Lead in Fields" or "Lead on the Playground?").

-- Synthetic Turf Council: Lots of data & reports on the lead issue. Here's another: http://www.cpsc.gov/BUSINFO/Doyle.pdf
-- New Jersey Artificial Turf Investigation: The original incident
-- ProGrass LLC
-- Basin Recreation
-- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission