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Research and Studies

The FieldTurf research resource center is designed to be the most comprehensive collection of documents available. In this section you will find valuable research and general documents pertaining to the safety and performance of artificial turf systems.

Health and Environment

A Scoping-Level Field Monitoring Study of Synthetic Turf Fields and Playgrounds
Prepared by the National Exposure Research Laboratory Office of Research and Development U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with contributions from the Agency’s Tire Crumb Science Workgroup

Summary: All VOCs were measured at extremely low concentrations that are typical of ambient air concentrations. The average extractable lead concentrations for turf blade, tire crumb infill, and tire crumb rubber were low. Although there are no standards for Pb in recycled tire material or synthetic turf, average concentrations were well below the EPA standard for lead in soil (400 ppm). On average, concentrations of components monitored in this study were below levels of concern.

Evaluation of the Environmental Effects of Synthetic Turf Athletic Fields
Milone & MacBroom Inc.

Summary: Analysis of the laboratory-based leaching potential of metals in accordance with acceptable EPA methods indicates that metals will leach from the crumb rubber but in concentrations that are within ranges that could be expected to leach from native soil. Lastly, it can be concluded that the use of crushed basaltic stone as a base material in the construction of the athletic fields has a neutralizing effect on precipitation.

AN ASSESSMENT OF CHEMICAL LEACHING, RELEASES TO AIR AND TEMPERATURE AT CRUMB-RUBBER INFILLED SYNTHETIC TURF FIELDS
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Department of Health

Summary: Analysis of crumb rubber samples digested in acid revealed that the lead concentration in the crumb rubber samples were well below the federal hazard standard for lead in soil and indicate that the crumb rubber from which the samples were obtained would not be a significant source of lead exposure if used as infill material in synthetic turf fields. A public health evaluation was conducted on the results from the ambient air sampling and concluded that the measured levels of chemicals in air at the Thomas Jefferson and John Mullaly Fields do not raise a concern for non-cancer or cancer health effects for people who use or visit the fields.

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Summary: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff concludes that young children are not at risk from exposure to lead in these fields.

Staph / MRSA

A Survey of Microbial Populations in Infilled Synthetic Turf Fields
Andrew S. McNitt, PH.D Soil Science
Dianne Petrunak, M.S. Plant Pathology

Summary: In conclusion, there are generally lower numbers of total microbes present in the infill or fibers of the synthetic turf systems tested compared to natural turfgrass rootzones and Staphylococcus aureus bacterium were not found on any of the playing surfaces. Staphylococcus aureus bacterium were found on towels and other devices used to train athletes.

Chemicals and particulates in the air above the new generation of artificial turf playing fields, and artificial turf as a risk factor for infection by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Literature review and data gap identification
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency

Summary: It seems unlikely that the new generation of artificial turf is itself a source of MRSA, since MRSA has not been detected in any artificial turf field.

Safety

Incidence, Causes, and Severity of High School Football Injuries on FieldTurf Versus Natural Grass: A 5-Year Prospective Study
Michael C. Meyers,*† PhD, FACSM, and Bill S. Barnhill,‡ MD
From the †Human Performance Research Center, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas, and ‡Panhandle Sports Medicine Associates, Amarillo, Texas

Summary: The epidemiological study concluded that FieldTurf is safer than natural grass in several key areas, such as: 44% Fewer Concussions, 33.4% Lower ACL Trauma, 26.6% Fewer Severe Injuries and 33.4% Fewer Ligament Tears.

Incidence, Mechanisms, and Severity of Game-Related College Football Injuries on FieldTurf Versus Natural Grass: A 3-Year Prospective Study
Michael C. Meyers,* PhD, FACSM
From the Department of Health and Human Development, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

Summary: The epidemiological study concluded that FieldTurf is safer than natural grass in several key areas, such as: 12% Fewer Concussions, 40% Lower ACL Trauma, 20.6% Fewer Severe Injuries and 31.4% Fewer Ligament Tears

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