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Concerns On Crumb Rubber Use for Synthetic Turf-Artificial Grass Fields Countered by New York State DEC Study Released May 29, 2009

To those that felt the news would be NEGATIVE … the findings of this just released study may be a “surprise” ….

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Study Finds Crumb Rubber Turf Poses No Significant Threat To Air or Water Quality – Tests Show No Health Concerns at Synthetic Turf Fields

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Albany NY (May 29, 2009)

Led by New York State – Dept of Environmental Conservation’s  (DEC) Division of Solid and Hazardous Materials and the Division of Air Resources, the state pursued a comprehensive evaluation of potential chemical releases from crumb rubber.  It involved an interdisciplinary approach, drawing upon expertise in DEC’s and DOH’s other programs including water resources, remediation, laboratory, chemistry and fish and wildlife.

A new study released today (May 29, 2009) by the New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Department of Health (DOH) concludes 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.

The study assessed the potential release of chemicals in crumb rubber to the environment. Crumb rubber, produced by grinding scrap tires,  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 found:

– No significant threat from chemicals leaching into surface water and groundwater. While some chemicals can be released from crumb rubber over time, they are in small concentrations and are reduced by absorption, degradation and dilution — resulting in no significant impact on groundwater or surface water.

– 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.  Still, the study notes that prolonged contact with hotter surfaces has the potential to create discomfort, cause thermal injury and contribute to heat-related illness.

To carry out the study, state scientists conducted lab tests on crumb rubber samples obtained from manufacturers and conducted tests at synthetic fields. They tested for leaching, exposure to acid rain and acid digestion, exposed samples to a range of temperatures to observe impacts, assessed chemical particle sizes for their potential to move through soil and air, collected soil samples at wells down-gradient from existing synthetic turf fields and measured air samples upwind and downwind of such fields.  DEC will continue groundwater and surface water testing related to this issue.

Led by DEC’s Division of Solid and Hazardous Materials and the Division of Air Resources, the state pursued a comprehensive evaluation of potential chemical releases from crumb rubber. It involved an interdisciplinary approach, drawing upon expertise in  DEC’s and DOH’s other programs including water resources, remediation, laboratory, chemistry and fish and wildlife.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

New York Dept of Environmental Conservation

Roy Yancey, 518-402-8000

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A copy of this report is now on file, in the ASGi Archives and
Public Download Library for our members’ and subscribers’
convenience, here:

NY_DEC_May2009_crumb_rubber_air_water_study.pdf

Never Registered?  Go Here to Register for the ASGi FREE Public Download Library Pass:

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http://www.asgi.us/amember/member.php

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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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