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 bacterium is methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus [‘MRSA’]. MRSA is not rare, but is dangerous if there is a break in the skin surface, because it can spread to the heart, lungs, or other parts of the body. Turf burns create this type of break and greatly increase the chance of infection. Because this infection can be deadly, the Centers for Disease Control [CDC] has published extensive information about ways to protect yourself.
- What Is Synthetic Turf?
- What Do Athletes Think?
- Health & Safety Concerns
- Turf Burns – First Aid & Treatment
- Antibiotic-Resistant Infections – MRSA
- Environmental Pros & Cons
- Maintenance & Upkeep
- Cost – Natural Turf v. Synthetic
- Play It Safe – Recommendations for Athletes, Parents, and Institutions
- Sources & Links for More Information
- Open Letter to Anyone Considering Synthetic Turf
The pages on Synthetic Turf are based on research and analysis completed in May 2015 by Kendall Garden [Lehigh ’16] and Peter Crownfield. Contact us by email
[updated 19 May 2015]