NEW YORK (June 3, 2009)—The state of New York has published a report that says the crumb rubber material used in synthetic turf fields poses no significant environmental threat to air or water quality and poses no significant health concerns.
The study was carried out by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health.
It assessed the potential release of chemicals in crumb rubber to the environment. Crumb rubber is a common "infill" material for synthetic turf fields. It provides cushioning and helps to hold the carpet down and keep synthetic grass fibers upright.
The study only addressed the crumb rubber infill and did not address pigments used in synthetic turf fibers that in older applications are known to contain lead.
The study found:
—No significant threat from chemicals leaching into surface water and groundwater.
—Lead concentrations in crumb rubber are well below federal hazard standards for lead in soil and do not represent a significant source of lead exposure.
—Levels of chemicals in the air at synthetic turf fields do not raise a significant health concern.
—Synthetic turf fields can have significantly higher surface temperatures compared to nearby grass and sand fields, although factors of heat stress did not differ noticeably among surfaces.