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Synthetic Turf Council Announces 20% Industry Growth in 2008

Thursday, January 22, 2009  
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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

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

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