And what if KIDS play on it? - Both baseball and football are moving to fake turf, since it needs less upkeep and always looks good on TV. But is it safe?
Adding to the growing concerns over the health risks posed by lead and other chemicals in synthetic turf materials, a new study finds that when children or athletes ingest the tiny rubber granules in synthetic turf, it is likely that a significant portion of the lead in the granules will be absorbed by their bodies? gastric fluids.
Researcher Junfeng (Jim) Zhang examined lead levels in rubber granules from four parks in New York. He says, "Even though the samples had relatively low concentrations of lead in the rubber granules, we observed that substantial amounts of lead?22.7 and 44.2 percent in the two samples tested?were absorbed into synthetic gastric juices. Because we know that even low levels of lead can cause?problems such as IQ loss in children, these absorption fractions are meaningful."
The granules can also be transported to homes in the shoes of field users, making the granules accessible to young children. The United States currently has about 3,500 synthetic turf fields with new fields being added at the rate of about 1,000 per year.
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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