AstroTurf defends itself against charges from environmentalists

RALEIGH, NC—A small number of environmental activists have recently alleged that the AstroTurf brand, and its line of advanced synthetic sports turf products, may pose a public health hazard.  These concerns have been primarily directed at non-sports synthetic turf products, but we need to set the record straight.  Specific to the material composition and components that comprise AstroTurf sports playing field systems, these assertions are not based in fact and fly in the face of the latest scientific evidence – and the consensus of some of the nation’s leading toxicologists – that confirms that children and athletes are perfectly safe on AstroTurf products.  Independent testing shows that runoff water from synthetic sports turf systems is as safe as, or safer than, that from a natural grass field.  Synthetic turf has been widely used throughout the U.S. for more than 40 years, and there has never been a single report of a potential health risk to an individual, a telling reality in an age of hair-trigger litigation.  For anyone interested in facts, here are ten that will help you make your own determination about the value and safety of synthetic sports turf:  


1.       Water conservation – 37,200 gallons are needed to apply 1” of water to a 60,000 square foot grass field; over a four-month football season, a single field requires about 600,000 gallons

2.       Land conservation – synthetic turf allows more players to exercise on fewer fields, reducing the land area required for athletics

3.       Elimination of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, which pose a risk of downstream contamination

4.       Eliminates the use of gasoline-powered mowers which consume fossil fuels and emit pollutants

5.       Utilizes renewable and recycled materials – by example, 40,000 recycled plastic bottles are used to make the cushioned backing of a single field

6.       Use of soybean-based polyols instead of petroleum-based polymers, boosting soybean agriculture which is beneficial to the atmosphere and ozone layer

7.       AstroTurf’s green manufacturing practices and components earn up to 12 LEED points from the U.S. Green Building Council

8.       Turf Aide antimicrobial technology in AstroTurf provides proactive health protection

9.       AstroTurf branded systems today are below the most stringent standards in the world for lead and heavy metals in consumer products – less than 3 PPM – and well below the minimum safety standards either in place or proposed by the U.S. government

10.   All recent science and test results conclude that synthetic sports turf poses no realistic health risk to children or athletes

The thousands of schools, communities and municipalities around the nation that have installed or plan to install synthetic sports turf can be assured that the users of these fields can enjoy them safely.  In the meantime, the efforts to discredit synthetic turf will no doubt continue.  Consider the facts, the science and the evaluations of those most qualified to ignore the rhetoric and render informed opinions, then form your own. 

Sent from French West Vaughn Agency