WASHINGTON—ASTM International has issued a new standard specification for extractable hazardous metals in synthetic turf infill materials.
The new standard, ASTM F3188-16, was created with the voluntary cooperation of the Recycled Rubber Council, the Safe Fields Alliance and the Synthetic Turf Council, according to a joint press release issued Nov. 30.
From now on, all leading members of the three associations will comply with the standard, the press release said. Their synthetic turf infill products already comply with standards set by the European Union, it said.
According to the ASTM website, the test method of ASTM F3188-16 is based on subsection 8.3 of ASTM Consumer Safety Specification F963, which specifies a test procedure to determine the amount of hazardous metals that might be present in children's toys.
“Since it is possible for users of synthetic turf playing surfaces to handle or ingest particles of synthetic turf infill materials, it is necessary to determine the level of hazardous metals in the synthetic turf infill materials,” ASTM said.
The test approximates the time, temperature and pH of stomach fluid during the digestive process to determine the amount of hazardous metals that might be ingested, according to ASTM. The levels of extractable metals in synthetic turf are compared with the maximum levels allowed in toys, it said.
“Members of the Recycled Rubber Council, Safe Fields Alliance and Synthetic Turf Council are committed to delivering products where the levels of extractable metals—present at low levels within many everyday products—are within ranges deemed to be safe in children's toys,” the three associations said in a joint press release.
Copies of ASTM F3188-16 are available at $40 each in PDF or hardcopy at https://www.astm.org/Standards/F3188.htm.
Controversy over the possible hazardous material content of synthetic rubber turf has led to several new studies of synthetic turf. A joint draft report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control/Agency for Toxic Substances and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, assessing the human health and environmental effects of recycled crumb rubber used as artificial athletic turf, is due out by the end of 2016.