Comments on: Playing it Safe on City Soccer Fields http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2011/03/playing-it-safe-on-city-soccer-fields/ The EPA Blog Thu, 30 Jul 2015 11:15:11 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.1 By: Mark O'Dell http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2011/03/playing-it-safe-on-city-soccer-fields/#comment-3723 Thu, 31 Mar 2011 03:53:41 +0000 http://blog.epa.gov/blog/?p=6817#comment-3723 As a high school soccer player playing mostly on real grass, I didn’t know or care much about the health and safety differences between grass and turf until recently. However, I’m excited to see the potential dangers of artificial turf raised, particularly in light of a recent California report focusing on pathogens and airborne VOCs, which according an Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment spokesman, “…didn’t identify any health concerns….” By focusing too narrowly on bacteria and VOC emissions into the air, the report misses additional dangers like overheating, or the lead contact that Stephen points out. I know the CPSC has looked into lead in turf as a product safety issue, and the overheating issue has been known for years without ever being addressed. In addition, large-scale use of turf in sports facilities affects local water drainage, not to mention low-level seepage of lead and other substances into the ground.
Great article, thought definitely need to be given to the true costs and benefits of artificial turf.

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By: Stephen Colley http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2011/03/playing-it-safe-on-city-soccer-fields/#comment-3722 Wed, 30 Mar 2011 20:16:04 +0000 http://blog.epa.gov/blog/?p=6817#comment-3722 If by the term “turf fields” you mean synthetic grass fields, in my opinion, they are not safe either. You already discovered one of the most observable features. They get too hot. By not engaging in photosynthesis, artificial turf gets hot, does not produce oxygen, does not absorb carbon dioxide, and does add to the problem of the urban heat island effect. The artificial turf industry also lobbied hard to keep the material from being classified as a children’s play toy. Why is that important? For one thing, some of the material consists of lead which is added to provide fade protection of the green color. Too bad our children have so much contact with the lawn when used in sports fields.

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