Synthetic Turf Council Announces 20% Industry Growth in 2008
Thursday, January 22, 2009
ATLANTA, GA – Despite the recession, thousands of
jobs have been created by the synthetic turf industry according to the
Synthetic Turf Council, which today announced a 20% expansion rate for 2008.
Growth in all sectors of the industry – sports fields, golf, municipal parks,
airports, landscape and residential – has also helped conserve an additional
500 million gallons of water during a time when many sectors of the country
still grapple with drought.
"Our member companies are actively
creating jobs and bolstering local economies with their growth,” explains Rick
Doyle, President of the Synthetic Turf Council. "Industry expansion also
allows us to make a positive impact on the environment by conserving water,
lowering the usage of pesticides and fertilizers and recycling materials.”
The environmental impact of
synthetic turf fields is significant. It is common for grass sports fields to
require a minimum of 15,000 gallons of irrigation water per week during growing
season and thousands of pounds of fertilizers and pesticides annually.
Assuming a 33 week growing season, the installation of over 1,000 new
synthetic turf fields last year conserved an estimated 500 million gallons of
water and reduced the use of fertilizers by well over 1.25 million
pounds. With approximately 4,500 synthetic turf fields currently in use,
the total amount of water saved in 2008 exceeded 2.2 billion gallons – enough
water to supply the average home for 75 years.
Demand for synthetic turf has grown
over the past few years. About half of all NFL teams currently play their
games on synthetic turf, and it has been approved by FIFA for World Cup soccer
matches. As the need for durable playing fields escalates, especially those
that don’t require high water usage during times of drought, synthetic turf has
become an increasingly popular solution to enhance athletic performance, deal
with the issue of limited space in older cities and suburbs, and allow for
multiple sports teams to practice and play on a grass-like surface.
The increased popularity of
synthetic turf has also resulted in increased scrutiny. In July 2008, a U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission Staff report approved the use of synthetic
turf fields by children and people of all ages. Numerous independent, current,
and credible scientific studies that verify the usage benefits and address the
health, safety, and environmental impact of synthetic turf are posted on the Synthetic Turf Council’s website at www.syntheticturfcouncil.org.
About the Synthetic Turf
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.