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Some Artificial Turf Athletic Fields Found To Contain Lead

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The federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have asked that artificial turf athletic fields containing worn or faded turf blades made out of nylon or nylon-blend fibers be checked for lead, as well as nylon fields with visible dust. These guidelines were established after New Jersey health officials discovered unexpectedly high levels of lead in the turf fibers of three athletic fields. The artificial turf industry has claimed its products cannot be to blame since the lead used to color the turf is encapsulated within the blades. Further tests showed that although the lead levels were not high enough to cause poisoning in the people who play on the fields, it would cause increasing damage in children already exposed to lead.

The New Jersey Health Department found lead in three nylon fields that it tested; however, it found none in the ten polyethylene surfaces it examined. The three fields that were found to contain unhealthy amounts of lead were voluntarily ripped up and replaced. State authorities have asked for more detailed testing on a federal level. The United States Product Safety Commission (USPC) has agreed and is looking into the potential health hazards of lead in artificial turf installed at parks, stadiums and stadiums around the United States. To minimize the risk of exposure, the CDC advises field managers to water down the fields and use other dust-suppressing methods. They also suggest that people who play on the fields should wash their hands, shower immediately after playing, turn clothing inside out and launder separately from other clothes, leave athletic shoes outside, and make sure drinking containers are covered and enclosed in a bag or cooler when not being used. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080619/ap_on_sp_ot/artificial_turf_lead_1