FieldTurf Tarkett Logo

Connecticut Study Validates Environmental Safety of FieldTurf Fields

Print
| Source: FieldTurf Tarkett

HARTFORD, Conn., Jan. 27, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Milone & MacBroom, a Connecticut-based firm specializing in environmental science, has completed a study on the water quality, air quality, and temperature of three scholastic synthetic turf athletic fields infilled with crumb rubber and silica sand in Connecticut. Their study lasted 1 year (2008) and the results of their findings are clear, conclusive and leave no doubt that the three factors mentioned above, along with any other environmental factor, should be of no concern with regards to the safety of synthetic turf fields.

The three areas the study addressed were water quality from the runoff that passes through the synthetic turf, the temperature of the surface of the turf, and the air quality on and surrounding the synthetic field. The questions they sought to answer were:


 * Does the temperature of the synthetic field become excessively
   hot in summer months?

 * Does the crumb rubber infill material have an effect on air quality?

 * Do metals leach from the crumb rubber infill material at a level
   that would adversely affect the quality of water?

Substantial focus has been given to possible environmental effects associated with the installation of synthetic turf athletic fields. Questions concerning the potential health effects have been raised by certain groups. Generally, these questions have been related to claims that insufficient data has been collected to reach a conclusion regarding possible detrimental health effects.

While many studies have concluded that the use of tire chip has a negligible effect upon ground water quality, few, if any, studies have been conducted concerning the effect on water quality resulting from the installation of synthetic turf athletic fields containing cryogenically treated crumb rubber produced from scrap tires.

The following is an excerpt from the conclusion of the study pertaining to water quality:

"The evaluation of the stormwater drainage quality from synthetic turf athletic fields included the collection and analysis of eight water samples over a period of approximately one year from three different fields, the collection and analysis of samples of crumb rubber in-fill from the same three fields plus a sample of raw crumb rubber obtained from the manufacturer, and the evaluation of the effect of the stone base material on the pH of the drainage water. The results of the study indicate that the actual stormwater drainage from the fields allows for the complete survival of the test species called Daphnia pulex. An analysis of the concentration of metals in the actual drainage water indicates that metals do not leach in amounts that would be considered a risk to aquatic life as compared to existing water quality standards. Analysis of the laboratory based leaching potential of metals in accordance with acceptable EPA methods indicates that metals will leach from the crumb rubber but in concentrations that are within ranges that could be expected to leach from native soil."

A study was designed and conducted to specifically evaluate the possible presence of benzothiazole, 4-(tert-octyl)phenol, and volatile nitrosamines in air above recently installed outdoor, crumb rubber in-filled synthetic turf playing surfaces in Connecticut.

The paragraph below is an extract from the conclusion of the study with regards to air quality:

"Twenty air samples were collected above and around two synthetic turf playing surfaces in Connecticut. Ten of the samples were analyzed for volatile nitrosamine content and 10 were analyzed for benzothiazole and 4-(tert-octyl) phenol content. The samples were collected on warm, late summer days during periods of light to calm winds. In one case, the synthetic turf surface had been groomed three days prior to the sampling. The sampling was conducted during periods when the temperature of the crumb rubber in-fill material was elevated due to exposure to the sun. The combination of air temperatures, surface temperatures, wind speed and, the recent maintenance of one of the fields, are believed to be conditions favorable for generating maximum concentrations of the analytes in the air column above and around the playing surfaces. This study determined that under favorable conditions for vapor generation, no detectable concentrations of volatile nitrosamines or 4-(tert-octyl) phenol existed in the air column at a height of four feet above the tested synthetic playing surfaces or in the air either upwind or downwind of the fields."

The following is a passage from the conclusion of the study relating to temperature:

"The results of the temperature measurements obtained from the fields studied in Connecticut indicate that solar heating of the materials used in the construction of synthetic turf playing surfaces does occur and is most pronounced in the polyethylene and polypropylene fibers used to replicate natural grass, rather than the crumb rubber particles. Rapid cooling of the fibers was noted if the sunlight was interrupted or filtered by clouds. Significant cooling was also noted if water was applied to the synthetic fibers in quantities as low as one ounce per square foot. The elevated temperatures noted for the fibers generally resulted in an air temperature increase of less than five degrees even during periods of calm to low winds."

"Promoting a healthy lifestyle has been part of the mantra of this company since day 1," said FieldTurf Tarkett CEO Joe Fields. "Our fields have always been safe for people and the environment. As members of the U.S. Green Building Council and the Environmental Protection Agency's Greenscapes program, we take the safety of our components very seriously. All the recent tests and positive results surrounding the components of our turf products confirm our dedication to safety." All of FieldTurf Tarkett's surfaces are developed, produced and installed with a concentration on sustainability and a commitment to protecting the environment. The company calls it 'Environmental Intelligence' and lives by this principle in every way.

The installation of FieldTurf eliminates the use of harmful pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides, while at the same time removes thousands of tires from landfill sites. FieldTurf eliminates the need for mowing, fertilizing, reseeding or watering. FieldTurf helps organizations earn the necessary points needed for U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification. FieldTurf's reused rubber content and water use reduction, among other factors, can contribute towards many LEED certification points.

FieldTurf Tarkett, a Division of the Tarkett Group, is the largest entity in the sports surfacing industry and offers unparalleled leasing capabilities, engineering, manufacturing resources, and environmental standards. In addition to its world-renowned FieldTurf and Prestige brands of artificial turf, FieldTurf Tarkett provides an equally impressive range of sports flooring products that includes synthetic and hardwood basketball, volleyball and gymnasium flooring, squash and racquetball courts, floor protection and covering systems, and weight room flooring. Also in the range of FieldTurf Tarkett products are high performance indoor and outdoor running tracks including the Beynon track surfaces, playground surfacing, commercial and residential landscaping, and a complete range of tennis and golf surfaces.

For more information, visit www.fieldturftarkett.com.

FieldTurf Tarkett
Darren Gill
(800) 724-296