EPA Study of Synthetic Turf and Crumb Rubber Finds “Low Level of Concern”
Thursday, December 10, 2009
ATLANTA, GA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced
today the results of a scoping study of the health risks from inhalation,
ingestion, and dermal contact with synthetic turf and crumb rubber. It
concluded that "concentrations of components monitored in this study were below
levels of concern.” The study further validates the statements of safety by the
U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and other governmental
agencies, including the New York State Dept of Environmental Conservation and
Dept of Health, the New York City Dept of Health, and the California EPA in
Here are highlights from the EPA’s news release:
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released
results of a limited field monitoring study of artificial-turf playing fields
and playgrounds constructed with recycled tire material or tire crumb.
- "The limited data EPA collected during this study,
which do not point to a concern, represent an important addition to the
information gathered by various government agencies," said Peter Grevatt,
director of EPA's Office of Children's Health Protection. "The study will
help set the stage for a meeting this spring, where EPA will bring together
officials from states and federal agencies to evaluate the existing body of
science on this topic and determine what additional steps should be taken to
ensure the safety of kids who play on these surfaces."
- Particulate matter, metals and volatile organic compound
concentrations were measured in the air samples and compared with areas away
from the turf fields (background levels).
- The levels found in air samples from the artificial turf
were similar to background levels.
- No tire-related fibers were observed in the air samples.
- All air concentrations of particulate matter and lead were
well below levels of concern.
- More than 90 percent of the lead in the tire crumb material
was tightly bound and unavailable for absorption by users of the turf fields.
- Zinc, which is a known additive in tires, was found in tire
crumb samples. However, air and surface wipe monitoring levels of zinc were
found to be below levels of concern.
"The Synthetic Turf Council congratulates the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency for this important new information,” said Rick
Doyle, STC president. "The general public will benefit from the detailed and
clear presentation of the study’s results.”
The EPA’s news release can be viewed here,
and the full study is accessible at www.epa.gov. Visit www.syntheticturfcouncil.org
for the CPSC’s statement and a full list of studies, reports and official
About the Synthetic Turf Council
Based in Atlanta, the Synthetic Turf Council was founded in
2003 to promote the industry and to assist buyers and end users with the
selection, use and maintenance of synthetic turf systems in sports field, golf,
municipal parks, airports, landscape and residential applications. The
organization is also a resource for current, credible, and independent research
on the safety and environmental impact of synthetic turf. Membership includes
builders, landscape architects, testing labs, maintenance providers,
manufacturers, suppliers, installation contractors, infill material suppliers
and other specialty service companies. For more information, visit www.syntheticturfcouncil.org.