New independent lab testing of crumb rubber infill re-confirms safety

Lower Canada College (LCC), a K-12 private school in Montreal, Canada announced that the crumb rubber infill used in its new synthetic turf athletic field is safe for continued use by children of all ages. This comes as a result of testing that the school conducted using an independent, highly-sophisticated laboratory in Paris, France to test its crumb rubber. The analysis measured potential toxicity levels of the crumb rubber against the European Union’s EN 71-3 standards, which set strict limits for various elements in children’s toys. These standards, set in 2013 as part of Europe’s Toy Safety Directive, are widely recognized as the most advanced in the world.

“We are happy with the results because, together with the chemical science and research that is readily available, they confirm for us, our Board, and the parents of our students that our turf field is safe for children of all ages for play and competition,” said Christopher Shannon, Headmaster, Lower Canada College. “We offer this information to the entire Montreal community and to the Synthetic Turf Council to not only offer context and clarity to this issue, but to take on an advocacy role that relies on science, technology, research, testing and factual data.”

“When we first considered installing a synthetic turf field, we conducted extensive due diligence investigating the safety of synthetic turf with crumb rubber infill. We knew we weren’t going to find one study that definitively proved their safety, so we reviewed the numerous studies that had been conducted in North America and Europe, all of which validated the human health and environmental safety of synthetic turf and crumb rubber infill. Nevertheless, in the wake of recent unfounded media speculation regarding the safety of this material and the concerns raised by parents as a result of that speculation, we decided to fund our own laboratory analysis using a toxicology test that simulates the ingestion of the crumb rubber, and benchmarks the results against tough European standards for heavy metals in toys. The lab report clearly shows that the results were negligible compared to the standards. As a school with a strong focus on developing a global perspective, we felt we should seek the world’s highest standard. The results are very comforting.”

Synthetic turf fields allow millions of children and people of all ages the opportunity to be active year-round in virtually all weather conditions. There is tremendous growth in all sectors of the industry – sports fields, landscape and recreation, municipalities and many other uses. In addition, a synthetic turf field conserves billions of gallons of water each year, avoids the use of pesticides and fertilizers, and recycles 25 million used car and truck tires that would otherwise end up in landfills.