Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Synthetic Turf Requires Regular Application of Disinfectant

This article discusses the risk of staph infection and MRSA from synthetic turf, concluding that regular treatment for bacteria must be part of the maintenance cost. Click here.
"...Not only must sports field managers learn how to maintain synthetic turf that often receive 5-10 times more activity than turfgrass fields, they're also charged with making the decision or asked their opinion of whether or not to treat synthetic fields with a product to kill bacteria.
Providing safe conditions for the athletes that use their facilities is their number one responsibility, after all.
This has been a tough call for them in light of budget pressures and exaggerated expectations of maintenance cost savings associated with synthetic turf fields.
Adding to the difficulty of deciding whether or not to treat is uncertainty about the relative risk of contracting a staph infection (including the more serious MSRA) on synthetic fields.
Even so, increasing numbers of professional teams and universities, in particular, have decided that the risk, whatever it is, is too great to ignore. In almost all cases, they treat all the surfaces that athletes come in contact with — both inside and outside as staph can be carried from one surface to another.
These high-profile and well-funded programs generally contract a professional service that applies a product specifically formulated to kill bacteria."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No: It's not 'for the children'
Seattle resident Jim Anderson speaks out against a proposed levy on the November Ballot for synthetic turf. An excerpt: "They say "we just need $10 million for these wonderful permanent plastic (and potentially toxic) fields!" and hide the need to replace them in 10 to 15 years, at twice the price with no plan for funding.This is truly "budgeting by the hopeful." With no provision of even planning for future needs, this patchwork hodgepodge of patronage and pork is the worst way to fund public needs, particularly in the midst of a near economic collapse. Vote no on Proposition 2. " Click here.

Friday, October 3, 2008

SenateBill 1277 Passes, Requires Health Study on Synthetic Turf
Senator Maldonado's SB 1277 was signed into law, requiring, on or before September 1, 2010, theIntegrated Waste Management Board, in consultation with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and the State Department of Public Health, to prepare and provide to the Legislature and post on the board's Internet Web site a study on the effects of synthetic turf and natural turf on the environment and public health. Click here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Town faces mounting costs for damaged synthetic field
Brookfield High School's new stadium may never see a football game this fall, after months of negotiations to repair its faulty synthetic field ...the town has documented that there are 120 seams that have burst apart. "It looks like a jigsaw puzzle." CCA of Brookfield, an engineering firm, conducted a study of the field last week. Mr. Silvaggi said in a phone interview Monday that, under a tentative agreement, the total cost would be $450,000... Grass doesn't split at the seams. Click here.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Traces of lead sideline school's synthetic turf field
Portland, Oregon Public Schools is limiting access to an artificial turf field often used by elementary school students after district tests showed levels of lead above some national recommendations.Rieke Elementary School students won't be able to use the field next to their building during the school day. And Portland Parks and Recreation will also limit some of its programs on the field. Click here.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Study Finds Lead in Synthetic Turf Can Be Absorbed into Gastric Fluids
Adding to the growing concerns over the health risks posed by lead and other chemicals in synthetic turf materials, a new study by researchers at the UMDNJ-School of Public Health finds that when children or athletes ingest the tiny rubber granules in synthetic turf, it is likely that a significant portion of the lead in the granules will be absorbed by their bodies’ gastric fluids. Click here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Suits filed over lead in artificial turf
The San Francisco Chronicle reports:Six artificial-turf companies are breaking state law by not warning the public of exposure to dangerous amounts of lead from the fake green grass, according to two separate lawsuits filed Tuesday by the California attorney general and an environmental group.The suits, designed to stop the sale of any new turf manufactured with lead, say the toxic metal gets on the hands and bodies of children and adults who play on synthetic grass found at athletic fields, public schools, parks, day care centers and residences.Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, requires warning of exposure to an unsafe level of a chemical that can cause cancer or birth defects. Lead is a carcinogen and can cause neurological damage, says the lawsuit filed in Alameda Superior Court."The goal is to get the lead out of the California pipeline so it's not being sold in the state," said Dennis Ragen, the deputy attorney general handling the case for the state. Click here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Synthetic turf study said to be dangerously deceptive
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today called on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to immediately remove and revise a report on its website that may dangerously and deceptively mislead citizens into believing that artificial turf has been proven safe.Blumenthal said the CPSC relied on a grossly inadequate and badly flawed study in declaring synthetic turf safe to install and play on -- focusing narrowly and insufficiently on lead, while failing to examine several other possible chemicals and concerns. In a letter to CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Ann Nord, Blumenthal said the CPSC’s claims -- based on such a “crudely cursory study” -- may dangerously deceive municipal and state leaders nationwide about the safety of synthetic turf.For the sake of public health and safety, Blumenthal said the CPSC has a moral and possibly legal obligation to immediately remove and revise its synthetic turf report from its website.“This report and release are as deceptive as some of the advertising and marketing of consumer products prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general,” Blumenthal said.“There is a clear and present danger that municipal and state decision makers -- as well as parents and citizens -- will rely on this unconscionably deficient report. It is replete with unsound scientific methodology and conclusions, and unreliable findings. It may lead to unsupportable and unwise commitments by towns and cities or their boards of education to build or replace athletic fields. Click here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New York's Ridgewood Reservoir fighting artificial turf
Communities in New York city are striving to preserve the unique natural habitats of Ridgewood Reservoir, fighting the replacement of scarce environmental resources with heat-magnifying artificial turf. Click here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

International soccer competitors dread plastic turf
WALES stars have been handed a stark warning over the plastic perils they could face in their World Cup mission in Moscow.John Toshack’s team were last night told their qualifying clash with Russia could be switched to the artificial turf at the Luzhniki Stadium.“I’ve played on that pitch,” said Smertin, a team-mate of Wales midfielder Simon Davies at Fulham. “What’s it like? It’s rubbish! I played there two or three times last year with Dinamo Moscow and, to be honest, it’s not so good.“In fact it’s quite dangerous because it’s different, your feet stick, you can’t turn quickly and you can’t turn properly as you run."And one of the Bhoys who featured in that game last August, John Kennedy, admitted: “That pitch is nothing like grass and there is no way international football should be played on it. You think the ball is going to bounce truly in front of you, and it spins away. At other times you think the ball is spinning and it takes a dead bounce. A lot of the boys came off the field with sore backs and joints. It is a difficult surface to play on and it can make you look daft because bounces are almost impossible to judge.” Click here.

Fake turf heat alert
After a decade of installing artificial turf, the city’s Parks Department is finally acknowledging what’s long been known: Fake grass get hot. One study cited by the Health Department in a recent report on the turf said, “At temperatures above 120 degrees, it only takes 3 seconds to burn a child’s skin severely enough to require surgery.” One day last month, the artificial turf at Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza was 165.5 degrees, while a nearby plot of grass measured just 83 degrees. Waves of heat rose from the field. “It’s outrageous,” said Josh Srebnick, a pediatric neuropsychologist who was playing with his five-year-old son, Jake. Click here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Another high school turf field closed due to Lead levels levels more than 10 times state standards
July 2, 2008The Hasbrouck Heights school district has closed an artificial turf playing field after discovering above-normal levels of lead in the surfacing, the schools superintendent said today.Hitchcock Field, behind Hasbrouck Heights High School, is the seventh artificial turf field in North Jersey to close as a result of elevated lead levels. Click here.

Artificial Turf Makers Face Lawsuits over Lead Contamination
Jun 23, 2008Just days after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended testing some types of artificial turf for lead, an environmental advocacy group is issuing its own warning. The non-profit Center for Environmental Health has also threatened to take legal action against some of the biggest manufacturers and sellers of artificial turf unless they remove lead from their products. Tests by an independent lab showed excessive lead in indoor/outdoor carpeting, artificial lawns and playground grass made with nylon and polyethylene, said Charles Margulis, a spokesman for the center.A subsequent test showed lead could be wiped off turf with a cloth or a child's hand. Click here.

Web MD posts warning for parents: Artificial Turf May Contain Lead
Referencing the official CDC Health Advisory issued June 18, Dr. Greene of WebMD warns parents of hazards and precautions to take if their children play on artificial turf. Click here.

CDC calls for lead tests on some turf
TRENTON, N.J. — The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that some artificial turf athletic fields be tested for lead.Two months ago, New Jersey health officials found high lead levels in turf fibers of three athletic fields. Subsequent tests showed the lead found in the turf can be absorbed by humans. Click here.

Parks' fake grass can reach a scorching 162 degrees
It's like walking on hot coals.Artificial turf installed in city fields can heat up to a blistering 162 degrees even on a mild summer day, a New York Daily News investigation has found. Temperatures at the synthetic fields soared roughly twice as high as at nearby natural grass ones. Click here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

S.F. debating artificial turf on playgrounds
(06-17) 20:20 PDT -- At a recent Synthetic Playfields Task Force meeting in San Francisco, resident Kellie Watts called the city's plan to install artificial turf in public playing fields the demonization of green fields. Watts compared synthetic turf makers to tobacco industry titans and asked task force members to resist the artificial surface that is being installed at a rate of about 1,000 fields per year in the United States. Click here.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

N.J. Agency Releases Toxic Turf Report
The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services released its findings of the latest tests conducted after several New Jersey schools were closed when lead was detected on artificial turf fields."Further laboratory testing has shown that lead can be dissolved from artificial turf fibers and turf field dust under conditions that simulate the human digestive process, leaving the lead available for the body to absorb," Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard said Tuesday. ..."Lead is known to harm children's health and neurologic development. These test results show there is reason for concern about the potential for lead exposure from artificial turf fields that contain lead." Click here.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sports Columnist questions safety of artificial turf
Sitting in the catbird's seatSUNDAY STEW June 1, 2008BY RICK TELANDER Chicago Sun-Times Columnist• • PARENTS ARE WORRIED about reports that some artificial-turf fields have possibly high levels of toxins such as lead in them.Anybody who has a child who has played on one of the new turf fields, which uses ground-up tires to simulate dirt between the plastic grass blades, has seen the black rubber pellets that spill out of the child's socks and shoes and uniforms after games.Maybe there's nothing to any of this. But the pellets can get in kids' eyes and ears and cuts.When the Bears played an entire season on the University of Illinois turf in 2002, some linemen complained that the pellets got in their mouths during pileups.New research has shown that there is a clear relationship between the level of lead in a child's blood and the likelihood he or she will have behavioral problems and, remarkably, be more likely to commit crimes as an adult.It's not overreacting for adults to want to make sure kids play on surfaces that are not only convenient and easy to maintain, but safe beyond dispute. Click here.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Clorox announces "powerful disinfectant cleaner" for artificial turf
First adults are choosing artificial turf instead of grass and having children play on old rubber tires - then some are finding a need to put antimicrobials on the fields so that the children don't get sick - and now Clorox has just developed a product to put on the fields so that the artificial turf doesn't spread MRSA infections.Perhaps it is time to rethink this issue instead of piling one exposure on top of another exposure as adults try to fix the original mistake. Click here for Clorox press release from today.

Pro soccer player Xavier refuses to play on Artificial Turf
The Galaxy play at Toronto FC today but defender Abel Xavier did not make the trip. The former Portuguese national team member does not play games on artificial turf because he said it bothers his knee. ...Call it one of the cultural differences between soccer and other sports.Xavier said when he played at Toronto last season, it was the first time a field had something other than natural grass in his 20-year career."Yeah, I was shocked," Xavier said. "The question is why does the league allow it? I started having problems with my knee in Toronto (last year)."Xavier, who played with Liverpool, Everton, Roma and Middlesbrough among others, said artificial turf should be banned by the MLS."If the league wanted to challenge to be the best, the turf is a big restriction," he said. Read more here.

San Francisco fights installation of synthetic fields
Read research and efforts by San Francisco citizens to stop installation of synthetic fields:SF Parks, Friends of Potrero Hill

Environment & Human Health Inc. study recommends moratorium on synthetic fields
Crumb rubber used as infill carries with it health risks that are numerous, including acute irritation of the lungs, skin, and eyes, and chronic irritation of the lung, skin, and eyes. Knowledge is somewhat limited about the effects of semi-volatile chemicals on the kidney, endocrine system, nervous system, cardio vascular system, immune system, developmental effects and the potential to induce cancers.There are still data gaps that need to be filled in and additional studies are warranted. Click here.

Turf wars rage over fake grass
Communities across the country are challenging the use of synthetic turf fields.Bills in Minnesota, New Jersey and New York would bar the installation of additional artificial turf until those states complete health and environmental studies on the ground-up tires used for the increasingly popular surfaces. Bills in California and Connecticut call for studies to determine the health and environmental effects of synthetic turf. A proposal in New York City would rip out all the existing artificial fields as well as ban new ones. Click here.

Connecticut To Assign Artificial Turf Study
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal urged the state Department of Environmental Protection Monday that the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station be assigned to conduct a new study to determine the potential hazards posed by crumb rubber used in artificial turf and gardening mulch. Last year it investigated the toxic components of ground-up recycled vehicle tires that form the crumb rubber infill; that study and others around the world have positively identified toxic chemicals that can cause asthma, eye and skin irritations, cancer and a decline in plant growth and aquatic life. Click here.

Studies link lead to adult crime, brain damage
Exposure to lead in early childhood or in the womb can cause permanent brain damage that may even cause criminal behavior, researchers found.Two studies showed that people with high levels of lead in childhood grew up with blocks of missing brain cells — and they also were far more likely to be arrested for crimes, especially violent crimes.Will artificial turf join lead paint as a cause of brain damage and criminal behavior? Read about the study on MSNBC, click here.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Should Synthetic Turf Fields Display Warning Signs? Yes, according to Proposition 65
Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. By providing this information, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about protecting themselves from exposure to these chemicals. Proposition 65 also prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water. Click here.

A Resource For Turf Professionals In Deciding Between Artificial and Natural Turf
Natural grass is shown to be less costly to install and maintain, plus safer to play on and healthier for the environment than synthetic turf. Click here.

California Senate Passes SB 1277 Requiring Study of Health Effects of Synthetic Turf
On May 12, 2008, SB 1277 passed the California State Senate, requiring a study of the effects of synthetic turf and natural turf on the environment and public health. The bill now moves to the assembly. Click here.

Texas Football Player Succumbs to Virulent Staph Infection From Synthetic Turf
An abrasion caused by artificial turf is blamed for the death of a high school football player in Austin, Texas, according to a report by Bloomburg News. Click here.

The Truth about the Existence of Microbes in Synthetic Turf Systems
Turf disinfectant company TurfAide shows how harmful microbes, including MRSA bacteria, thrive in synthetic turf and why heat, water, etc. are not enough to disinfect it. Click here.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Serious Questions About New Generation Artificial Turf That Require Answers
While “fraud” is a highly charged word, some claims made by some artificial turfcompanies may fall within the legal definition of that term, while other claims may onlybe deceptive, over-statements, misstatements or misunderstandings.The issues raised by the following questions are intended to assist in the decisionmakingprocess by focusing on real and serious areas of concern. Click here.

Artificial turf: Health hazard? story in USA Today
The questions about new and old types of artificial turf have created ripples nationwide, prompting a federal investigation of artificial surfaces and raising anxiety among health and elected officials, some of whom want to ban new installations until government agencies study the potential health risks and environmental hazards. Click here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Connecticut asks EPA study on fake turf
NEW HAVEN — U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro and state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal demanded Monday that the federal Environmental Protection Agency investigate cancer-causing chemicals and other possibly toxic compounds that waft out of synthetic athletic fields covered with granulated tires.At issue are public health questions surrounding a crumb-rubber field in West Haven, an additional 30 similar fields in Connecticut, and about 3,500 of the surfaces nationwide. Click here.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

California to Study Health Effects of Synthetic Turf
California State Senate Bill 1277, authored by Senator Abel Maldonado, mandates a study on the effects of synthetic turf and natural turf on the environment and public health. Click here.

New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services calls for Federal Action on Potential Lead Hazard Posed by Artificial Turf
New Jersey Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard has urged the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to investigate the artificial turf used on athletic fields, play areas and in homes, after New Jersey testing found high lead levels in selected samples of turf fibers. Click here.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Synthetic Turfgrass Costs Far Exceed Natural Playing Fields
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Synthetic turfgrass costs more, a lot more, than natural grassto install and maintain, concludes a University of Missouri Extension turfgrass expert.Brad Fresenburg, an MU Extension turfgrass specialist, recently completed a costanalysis of installing and maintaining natural and synthetic fields. Click here.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Study looks at Lead Levels in Synthetic Fields
USA Today: the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has begun investigating potential hazards from lead in some artificial turf sports fields across the country. Click here.

Menlo Park and Portola Valley Reject Artificial Turf
Portola Valley voted against considering a synthetic turf field. Click here.Menlo Park voted against installing a synthetic turf field. Click here.Excellent letter on the Environmental Committees' Opposition to the Proposed Installation of Artificial Turf at Encinal School. Click here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Children are uniquely vulnerable to plastics
Video featuring Dr. Maida Galvez of the Children's Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center on Plastics and Childhood exposure.Click here.

Dangers of Lead Exposure in Children
These two videos feature Dr. Philip Landrigan, Director of the Children's Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center discussing the dangers of lead and other chemicals exposure in children.Part 1 Part 2

Synthetic Turf Chemicals
Analysis of chemicals present in five brands of synthetic turf, conducted by Paradigm Laboratories in Rochester New York for RAMP. Click Here.

Home Turf Disadvantage
This article does a great job of summarizing all the problems created by the rubber pellets in artificial turf . Click Here

ABC News Reports Synthetic Turf Fields Closed Due to High Levels of Lead
ABC's national news features the closings of two fields in New Jersey for lead levels ten times higher than allowed. Click here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

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