In March 2015, we saw stories in the Express-Times and Morning Call reporting that almost all of the high schools, colleges, and universities in the Lehigh Valley have synthetic turf fields (also known as artificial turf), or were planning to replace natural grass with synthetic turf in the near future. In addition, at least two municipalities are planning to install synthetic turf at recreation facilities. We notified several institutions about the serious health concerns and published a composite version of the letter. (The other sections of this site are now a more complete reference, but the original open letter is also archived on this site.)
- What Is Synthetic Turf?
- What Do Athletes Think?
- Health & Safety Concerns
- Turf Burns – First Aid & Treatment
- Antibiotic-Resistant Infections – MRSA
- Environmental Pros & Cons
- 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
These pages on Synthetic Turf are based on research and analysis completed in May 2015 by Kendall Garden [Lehigh ’16] and Peter Crownfield, with updates in the fall of 2015 and February 2016. Also see the Synthetic Turf Concerns Summary [leaflet] (Low-Resolution version).
[updated 7 February 2016]