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STC Newsroom: Industry News

New York Studies Validate Safety of Crumb Rubber Infilled Synthetic Turf

Wednesday, June 3, 2009  
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NEW YORK, NY – In response to the public’s desire for more scientific data, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York State Department of Health (DOH) released a new study on May 29 which validated the safety of synthetic turf fields with crumb rubber infill. The findings, available at, concluded that "crumb rubber material used in synthetic turf fields poses no significant environmental threat to air or water quality and poses no significant health concerns.”

"This report provides compelling new scientific evidence about the safety of synthetic turf that should help answer the responsible questions being asked by parents, legislators and community activists,” said Rick Doyle, President of the Synthetic Turf Council. "Increased playability, safety, low maintenance and significant environmental benefits have made synthetic turf an increasingly popular option.”

The New York State DEC and DOH conducted a series of studies to collect laboratory and field sampling data to "assess the potential impact to both surface and ground waters due to leaching of chemicals, assess potential public health impact from air release of chemicals and evaluate surface temperature and indicators of heat stress.”Other recent findings verifying the safety of synthetic turf with crumb rubber infill include a March 2009 air quality study by the NY City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and a May 2008 independent review of available research commissioned by DOHMH into the potential exposures and health effects due to inhalation, ingestion, and dermal absorption. These documents and more are available at

In July 2008, a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Staff report also concluded that ‘young children are not at risk from exposure to lead [used in certain pigments to color synthetic turf fibers] in these fields.’” To further the long-term objectives of the Environmental Protection Agency, CPSC, and Centers for Disease Control to eliminate the use of lead in all products where feasible, the Synthetic Turf Council announced in July 2008 its commitment to voluntarily reduce lead levels in accordance with the same strict standards that Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 imposes on the children’s toy industry.

Synthetic turf fields are affording millions of children and people of all ages the opportunity to be active year-round and in virtually all weather conditions. 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. In 2008, growth in all sectors of the industry – sports fields, landscape, golf, municipal parks, and airports – also helped conserve billions of gallons of water, avoid the use of millions of pounds of pesticides and fertilizers, and recycle 25 million used tires that would otherwise end up in landfills.

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. Visit for more information.

Our Mission

To serve as the global forum to promote, develop, grow and advocate for the synthetic turf industry.

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2331 Rock Spring Road
Forest Hill, MD 21050

443. 640. 1067