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“by itself, playing on the fields does not pose a health concern",

>My understanding is that the infill at Maple Park was something called Nike Grind, which FieldTurf offers as an option and blends recycled Nike shoe soles with specially treated and cleaned ground tire rubber.

The tests that were conducted on the fields in question found no safety concerns about the rubber infill. In the past, people had raised concerns about the infill. But, legitimate testing has repeatedly dispelled these concerns, which were based on erroneous claims. Why would you criticize FieldTurf for recycling tires in an environmentally responsible manner, which would otherwise end up UNTREATED in landfills? Below is the full text from which your selective excerpt was taken.

“Installation of a FieldTurf field eliminates the use of harmful pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides, while at the same time, removes over 40,000 tires from landfill sites.

FieldTurf requires no mowing, fertilizing, reseeding or watering. A typical soccer / football field can use between 2.5 million and 3.5 million gallons of water per year.

FieldTurf saves a billion gallons of fresh water every year. Coupled with reduced labor costs related to maintenance, equipment and elimination of costs for supplies such as fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, many of our clients report a reduction in maintenance costs of as much as $30,000 to $60,000 per field, per year.”

The concern from the NJDHSS report is with lead from lead chromate in the dye used to color the green fibers. As others have pointed out, this is encapsulated in the patented FieldTurf fibers (which are different from other manufactures). The lead does not “leach” out of the fibers and is not transmitted through contact with the fibers. The tests that have raised this issue dissolve the fibers in acid to release the lead. The pesticides, fertilizer and geese droppings that were previously found on Maple Park Field, leached into the ground water and were easily transmitted through contact with the skin represented the true health risk.

It is very important that concerned individuals distinguish between FieldTurf and other “synthetic turf designs”. Despite the fact that the NJDHSS test DO NOT indicate that the lead on the FieldTurf fields is released through normal usage and that they state that “by itself, playing on the fields does not pose a health concern”, FieldTurf has voluntarily explored ways to reduce or eliminate lead entirely from its design.

In support of the environmental responsibility of FieldTurf’s design, it should be noted that the EPA has formed and partnership with FieldTurf through its GreenScapes program (see

FieldTurf’s design has also been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council for qualification under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System™. This is the national standard for what constitutes a “green building” and is utilized as a design guideline and certification tool for architects and designers seeking to develop high-performance, sustainable buildings. FieldTurf’s qualification falls under LEED Version 2.2,. which is an updated version of the rating system for new construction, major renovations, and water efficiency. It is designed to guide and distinguish high-performance commercial and institutional projects. A recent large FieldTurf project in Nevada earned LEED point recognition by saving 129 acre feet of water a year, enough to provide water to 428 single family homes, while providing a safe recreational space.

When you take the time to learn the facts and consider them rationally, it is hard to make a compelling case against the safety and environmental responsibility of FieldTurf’s design.


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