On July 30, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that a new study of the risks to children and adults playing on synthetic turf fields containing crumb rubber infill shows “no elevated health risks.” The study further validates the conclusions and recent studies of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other governmental agencies, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health, the New York City Department of Health, and the California EPA.
“This study presents good news regarding the safety of outdoor artificial turf fields,” stated Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “What we’ve learned from this study in Connecticut will provide valuable guidance to municipalities, schools and others who operate or are considering installing artificial playing fields.”
“In over 40 years of EPA oversight and OSHA regulated manufacturing, there has never been an instance of illness attributed to synthetic turf. This study and numerous others validate the long-term human health and environmental safety of synthetic turf systems,” said Rick Doyle, president of the Synthetic Turf Council. “Consider too synthetic turf’s environmental benefits — in 2009, 5,200 synthetic turf sports fields in the U.S. saved over four billion gallons of water, and eliminated the use of millions of pounds of toxic pesticides & fertilizers.”
The Connecticut study can be viewed at www.ct.gov/dep/artificialturf.
Installation of artificial turf fields has become a more common practice as cities, towns, and educational institutions seek to reduce both maintenance needs created by the heavy use of grass fields and demands for water and pesticides needed for care of natural grass. One popular design for these fields involves the use of crumb rubber infill, which provides, drainage, a layer of padding and holds the blades of synthetic grass upright. The crumb rubber used in artificial turf fields is mainly composed of recycled tires, which contain man-made and natural rubber.