Synthetic Turf Health Concerns
Synthetic turf may have advantages in some situations, but it also is linked to several very serious health concerns.
Because most of the high schools, colleges, and universities in the Lehigh Valley have synthetic turf fields and at least two municipalities are planning to install synthetic turf at recreation facilities, we have identified this as a local health concern. If you have questions or want more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Updated March 18, 2015] The following open letter is prompted by several stories in the Express-Timesand Morning Call reporting that almost all of our high schools already have synthetic turf fields (as do most colleges and universities in the Lehigh Valley)—and the few … more
August 2016 – Schools in South Korea removing synthetic turf in favor of natural grass fields, with funding provided by the Office of Education. Source: ’Schools move away from artificial turf‘. Korea Times, 28 April 2016. May 2016 – Players’ union in … more
In the last few years, considerable evidence has emerged that indicates that synthetic turf (also known as artificial turf) creates serious health concerns. As of January 2016, there are over 200 cases of lymphoma & other cancers in young athletes … more
Additional Links & Resources listed by the NY Department of Health Temperature of In-filled Synthetic Turf Athletic Fields Adamson, C, Feature Research: Synthetic Turf Playing Fields Present Unique Dangers; University of Missouri, Columbia, College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, http://cafnr.missouri.edu/research/turfgrass.php McNitt … more
To build an environment that truly supports health & wellness, we need to recognize that we sometimes need to make decisions before health impacts or safety concerns can be definitively proven or disproven. Where human health is involved, it is … more
Following are the principal sources we used to prepare these pages, with updated information added as it becomes available. Reports, Fact Sheets, & Scientific Studies Athletic Playing Fields and Artificial Turf: Considerations for Municipalities and Institutions [PDF]. Toxics Use Reduction Institute … more
One of the surprises we found in our research, is that a natural turf is often much less costly than synthetic turf (also known as artificial turf), even with fairly heavy use. The cost for each field depends, of course, on … more
The following recommendations are based on understanding the risks created by playing on or near synthetic turf. Compiled from advice on several health & sport-specific sites, they can help reduce — but not eliminate — some of the serious health … more
In addition to the health & safety concerns for athletes, synthetic turf raises environmental concerns: Both the grass and the infill are made from toxic products and will wind up in landfills when the fields need to be refurbished (10–12 years); … more
Synthetic turf does not cause infections, but turf burns and other minor abrasions open the door for infectious bacteria. Sports Turf NorthWest reports that synthetic turf can become contaminated with bacteria and may need to be disinfected regularly. One drug-resistant … more