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CEHCA Fuels Fire Under
Artificial Turf Industry

” We tested about 50 different products with an x-ray fluorescence analyzer and then sent some of the grass samples to a commercial lab to verify our results. The commercial lab also used a simple [wipe] test to measure the accessibility (ability to be absorbed by the body) of the lead in the samples.” states the CEHCA Report.

 

2/3rds of Artificial Grass Samples

PASS Independent Testing for Lead

The Center for Environmental Health (CEHCA), Berkeley, CA announced Monday that they have completed independent testing on 50 different samples of artificial turf. In order to expand on the recently published results from the New Jersey Dept of Health and Senior Services studies on sports fields,they tested a variety of home-use artificial grass products that are available in California.

Using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) technology, samples were screened. Those with elevated lead content were then sent on to be re-tested by the National Food Labs under NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety) standards

CEHCA found that 2/3rds of the samples they tested showed results at or below standards set for other lead contamination safe harbor numbers. Using a watermark of 600ppm (parts per million) as a benchmark – any products that exceeded that amount, and several of them registered results in the 1000′s ppm stated a CEHCA staffer, were cited in the report as having failed the tests.

Conversion Chart: (example) 600 ppm = 600 mg/Kg = 0.06%

CEHCA has taken advantage of the Proposition 65 laws that allow any individual, entity, group or association to bring legal action against any company that is in violation of Prop 65 law. The California Attorney General’s Office enforces Proposition 65.

The steps required are that the entity must first notify the company and the state of the problem. Companies that receive these notices must respond within 60 days. At the end of that 60 day time period, CEHCA can choose to move forward with a law suit, serving companies named in the action. Anytime during or after that 60 day period, the AG’s office can choose to 1. do nothing, 2. intervene and assist CEHCA in the process or 3. intervene and take over the case.

15 companies have been named in preliminary notice action, including several national hardware store chains that were found to be selling indoor/outdoor carpet that also had high lead content in their fibers. Link to CEHCA report here.

The CEHCA would like to see both the carpet and artificial grass industry reformulate all yarn fibers to reduce or eliminate lead content. After determining several new artificial grass products tested for elevated lead levels, and companies had not disclosed that in product information or labeling, CEHCA felt compelled to start the process. PDF of Prop 65 Basic Info

CEHCA’s methods, which normally end in a negotiated settlement out of court, have been to raise awareness with legal actions, such as the one brought against Apple and their IPhone last year (2007) when phthalates were found in the ear phone cables:

A spokesperson for CEHCA did, however, acknowledge to Macworld that it is not necessarily looking for the case to go to court. “In general what we try to do is encourage the manufacturers through a negotiated settlement to reduce the use of these chemicals,” CEHCA spokesperson Caroline Cox said. “That would be our goal with Apple.”

Center for Environmental Health sues Apple over “toxic” iPhone components
By Jacqui Cheng | Published: October 15, 2007 – 09:44PM CT

TURF Industry Has Been Working With CPSC & CDC

Over the past several months, since the first field in New Jersey came under fire, the synthetic turf industry stakeholders have met with CDC, CPSC and others to determine an appropriate plan of action to identify any installations that might put humans at risk. They have run tests, in parallel, to those of federal and state organizations and have published these for the public to download freely. You can locate several studies and reports online here at ASGi or go to www.syntheticturfcouncil.org

The meeting with CPSC included 7 other industries to discuss efforts to include defining US standards and definitions that would allow manufacturers to produce quality, colorfast artificial grass yarns that would meet or exceed Federal and State environmental, human health and safety guidelines.

Synthetic Turf Council, a trade association representing the manufacturers of goods for the artificial grass market, said that they are preparing a response to the CEHCA action and would provide that later this week. You will be able to locate that on their website at www.syntheticturfcouncil.org

To review this topic further – use the Catagory Button at left and select “lead and heavy metals” and “health and environment” to start. You can also use the Search function to locate popular topics.

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ASGi - the Association of Synthetic Grass Installers was founded in 2007 to help connect market partners and their customers in the artificial grass and synthetic turf industry. We have grown into a global presence, focused upon the niche markets of landscape and leisure sports. Take a moment, browse the site - or email or phone us if we can be of help in answering a question or locating information. Phone US TOLL FREE - 888-378-4581 View all posts by ASGi

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