Experts Agree There is No Scientific Evidence of Health RIsks in New Jersey Synthetic Turf Fields
Monday, April 21, 2008
Committed to the safety and well-being of the public, the
Synthetic Turf Council turned to scientists to evaluate the recent concerns of
the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) that resulted
in their closing of three playing fields over suspected high lead levels.
Dr. David Black (Ph.D. Forensic Toxicology) and Dr. Davis
Lee (Ph.D. Synthetic Organic Chemistry) assert that there is no scientific
evidence of health risks related to the three older synthetic turf fields in
New Jersey, particularly the Ironbound B-Field on St. Charles Ave. in Newark.
In addition, the NJDHSS concedes in their report that "available evidence
suggests that there are no acute health risks due to use of artificial turf
fields, and risks due to chronic and repeated exposure are unlikely.”
"We care very much about the community,” said Rick Doyle,
President of the Synthetic Turf Council. "People deserve to know the science
behind the situation, so our association turned to recognized industry experts
to assess the issues.”
Joint Statement from Dr. Black and Dr. Lee:
"There is no scientific evidence of a health risk for
children or adults based on recent test results and current knowledge of the
chemical structure of aged synthetic turf products.
Concerns over potential harm related to the three older
fields in use in New Jersey have not addressed fundamental questions regarding
potential toxicity including route of exposure, dose of any potential
chemicals, and how such chemicals may be introduced into the body by being in
contact with synthetic turf products (referred to as bioavailability).
Reports of health concerns have not been supported by any
laboratory analysis on the products or humans that indicate any risk of harm
due to potential exposure to chemicals.
Studies that have been conducted and made available for our
review have not documented that aged synthetic turf products may be a source of
lead exposure to anyone in contact with the product.”
Concerning Absorption of Lead Chromate by the Body
Trace amounts of lead exist in everyday products. The key
issue is ensuring that quantities of lead that might be harmful to health
cannot be absorbed into the body. Used to extend the yarn color lifespan in
some synthetic turf products, lead chromate is encapsulated in plastic to
prevent any health risks.
The Synthetic Turf Council continues to gather additional
scientific and medical data about the issue, sharing that information with the
public in press releases and postings on its website, www.syntheticturfcouncil.org.
About Dr. David Black
Dr. Black, founder and CEO of Aegis Sciences Corporation,
earned his undergraduate degree from Loyola College in Baltimore and doctorate
degree in Legal Medicine (Forensic Toxicology) from the University of Maryland
at Baltimore (1982). Dr. Black is a Diplomat of the American Board of Forensic
Toxicology (DABFT), Diplomat of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry
(DABCC), and is a Certified Professional Chemist by the American Institute of
Chemists (CPC/AIC). Dr. Black was Toxicology Department Head and Director of
Toxicology for Maryland Medical Laboratory, Inc. from 1982-1986. He joined
Vanderbilt University in 1986 as Assistant Professor with appointments on
Pathology and Pharmacology. In 1990 Dr. Black founded Aegis Sciences
Corporation where he serves as Chairman, President and Laboratory Director.
About Dr. Davis Lee
Dr. Lee, a principal and senior consultant with InnovaNet,
LLC, is currently Executive in Residence at the Georgia Institute of Technology
School of Polymer, Textile, and Fiber Engineering. He earned his Ph.D. in Synthetic
Organic Chemistry from Emory University and spent 20 years with E.I. DuPont
DeNemours and Co., Inc., as a research and development specialist in fiber,
plastics and chemical technologies.
About the Synthetic Turf Council
Based in Atlanta, the Synthetic Turf Council was founded in
2003 to serve as an objective resource assisting buyers and end users with the
selection, use, and maintenance of synthetic turf systems in sports field,
golf, and landscape applications. The organization actively collects reputable
studies and research, as well as official statements by governmental agencies
and sports organizations, which address the impact of synthetic turf sports
fields. STC members produce and install most of the synthetic turf sports
fields in North America. Membership includes builders, landscape architects,
testing labs, maintenance providers, installation contractors and other
specialty service companies. For more information, visit www.syntheticturfcouncil.org.