Lead in artificial turf-testing and settlements

Lead in artificial turf (also called synthetic turf or synthetic lawn) leapt into the headlines in 2007 when the New Jersey Department of documented lead problems at sports field near Newark.

CEH began researching lead in turf and discovered that lead-containing pigments were widely used. We initiated legal action to remove this potently toxic chemical from places where children play. Our legal action was in collaboration with the California attorney general.

Five major turf companies have made legal commitments to remove hazardous lead from their products:

Astroturf (sports fields and synthetic lawns)

Synthetic Turf International (synthetic lawns)

Beaulieu Group (supplies turf to Home Depot & Lowes)

FieldTurf (sports fields and synthetic lawns)

Shaw Industries

If you are concerned about lead in a synthetic lawn or sports field, CEH can test your turf and tell you whether or not it contains harmful levels of lead. CEH does not charge for testing. Donations are always welcome!

Send a minimum of six blades of turf to:

CEH

2201 Broadway Suite 302

Oakland, CA 94612

If you’re concerned about lead exposure from a field that you or your children use, here are some things you can do to reduce exposure:

Keep turf fields well-maintained and groomed. Reduce surface dust and particles that could be ingested

Students and players should wash their hands after playing on a field, and should avoid eating food while seated on the turf surface.

Equipment and clothing used when playing on the turf should be cleaned after use.

Children should not swallow the crumb rubber pellets that are used as cushioning materials under the fields.

As part of their legal agreements, Astroturf, Fieldturf, and Beaulieu are required to replace certain California turf. For more information about replacing turf, click here.

Click for a list of Astroturf, Shaw and Beaulieu carpet and turf products sold in California.