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Turf's Up

You’d think artificial turf would be a clean, safe place for your children to play, but a recently issued Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) health advisory warns parents of potentially high lead-dust levels on some artificial turfs. Older turfs made from nylon or nylon-polyethylene blends may contain enough lead to be a concern for children under age 6. Also under scrutiny for containing toxins are the recycled tire pieces and other “crumb rubber” infill used in synthetic fields.
However, not every turf produces lead dust. Turfs that are weathered, old or show faded or broken fibers are most likely to produce lead dust and should be tested.

Today’s polyurethane products are safe for kids, assures Kimberly Van Buren, co-owner of Dallas-area Synthetic Grass Pros. Anything manufactured within the last 10 years shouldn’t cause parents any concern.

The CDC advises these precautions for children who play on artificial turf:

  • After playing, wash hands and body aggressively for at least 20 seconds using soap and warm water.
  • Remove clothes worn on the field as soon as possible and turn them inside out, to avoid tracking contaminated dust to other places. (Kids can sit on towels or blankets in the car if they can’t change.) Wash dusty clothes, towels and blankets separately. Keep athletic shoes worn on the field outside of the home.
  • Don’t eat on the field.
  • Close drink containers when not in use and keep them in a covered container on the side of the field.