Terrie Ward, STC Marketing & Education Director
Not one study out of the 51 we cite and make available on our website warns against a serious elevated human health or environmental risk from synthetic turf…not a single one. No one study will ever provide a definitive overview on every aspect of research that could be analyzed related to synthetic turf. That is the nature of scientific research; there can always be one more study and more opportunity for review. The Synthetic Turf Council acknowledges that and has always been supportive of additional research. However, the STC and the synthetic turf industry recognize the years of analysis, hundreds of tests and hundreds of pages of reports produced as a result represent a significant body of independent, science-based knowledge that is enormously persuasive. All of that research provides confidence that there is no elevated human health or environmental risk from the ingestion, inhalation, or dermal contact with synthetic turf.
After the U.S. Consumer Product Safety (CPSC) issued a statement in 2008 that “young children are not at risk from exposure to lead in these synthetic turf fields,” the Synthetic Turf Council on behalf of its yarn manufacturers announced that it would voluntarily reduce lead levels from the pigments used to color synthetic turf. Lead free pigments have been used since 2009.
Recently, Lower Canada College, a leading K-12 private school in Montreal, Canada tested the crumb rubber infill in its new synthetic turf field and found the lead levels were undetectable. The analysis measured potential toxicity levels of the crumb rubber against the European Union’s EN 71-3 standards, which sets strict limits for various heavy metals in children’s toys.
There are many others who are equally confident, including national and international sports leagues, universities, public and private school systems, parks departments and municipalities that continue to make informed decisions to install synthetic turf.