lead playing fields

Submitted by Susan Miller on Sat, 04/19/2008 - 08:56.

There's nothing like a spring, summer or fall day when your kid is rollicking on a large expanse of green with a round object. 

It could be soccer, field hockey, rugby or lacrosse; that ball could be rounded, but pointy at both ends (a football). Either way, it used to be that they would come home muddy and battered. They may even have slid into some droppings left by an enterprising goose. But now we find that they may be playing on a large expanse of fake green and as a result they may return home lead poisoned.

The lead in gasoline was removed, but was it simply diverted to lead in nylon turf?

Feds are looking into the dangers of lead in artificial turf

TRENTON, N.J. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is looking into the possible health hazards of lead in artificial turf installed at schools, parks and stadiums across the country.

Two fields in New Jersey were closed this week after state health officials detected what they said were unexpectedly high levels of lead in the synthetic turf and raised fears that athletes could swallow or inhale fibers or dust from the playing surface.

The artificial-turf industry denied its products are dangerous. But the CPSC it is investigating.

"We have a great deal of interest into any consumer product that could be used by children where children could potentially be in harm's way because of lead exposure," CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson said.

Oh, dear...

My additional question has to do with the permeability of these expanses of year round green. What underlies these fields?  With a son who has played on several such fields, I have felt with my own joints that some are soft and some are hard like basketball courts where that shiny wood floor is not suspended, but rather is laid directly atop cement (great for producing joint injuries). What's under these "turf fields? Can rain water get through?

  What’s wrong with grass? If you kid is playing on a grass field, did they use herbicides and pesticides on it to keep the green green? Why do we have these turf fields anyway? Did we just need another way to use fossil remains – nylon playing fields?

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