Lead in Artificial Turf


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CEH has screened artificial turf from more than 500 fields in California, and the good news is that the majority of the fields do not pose lead poisoning hazards. CEH reached agreements with the major producers of artificial turf in 2008 that strictly limits lead in turf. But since some older artificial turf remains in use, some fields still contain high levels of lead.

This map outlines information from the California fields that CEH has screened for lead content, showing in red the fields with high lead content (more than 1,000 parts per million of lead), in yellow, fields with moderately high levels of lead (between 50 and 1,000 ppm), and, in green, fields without lead.

If your children play on artificial turf fields and you do not see information about these fields on our map, CEH can screen your turf field for lead at no charge. Watch the video above to learn how to send CEH a sample of the turf field and to learn more about protecting children from lead in artificial turf.

Guidelines for preventing lead exposure from artificial turf:

  • 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.
  • Keep turf fields well-maintained and groomed. Reduce surface dust and particles that could be ingested
  • Children should not swallow the crumb rubber pellets that are used as cushioning materials under the fields.

We are not currently accepting samples to test. 

Sending in a sample is easy!

Your sample should consist of at least six blades.  Collect any loose blades scattered on the turf surface. If those are not available, cut or pull some blades from an area of turf from an area that will not impact the usability of the field. Put the blades in a small bag (for example, a ziplock bag) or envelope. Some turf has two different blade types (often “straight” blades with “curly” blades underneath); if so, send us a sample of both. If there are lines or logos that are different colors you are welcome to send us a sample of each color.  There is no charge for this screening.

We are not currently accepting samples to test. 

Send samples to:

Center for Environmental Health
2201 Broadway, Suite 302
Oakland, CA 94612
Attn: Emily

Video Credits

Directed and Edited by Matt Nevins
Animation by Jody Evenson
Narrated by Timothy Sniffen
“On the Horizon” composed by Dan Phillipson

Special thanks to:

Phil Boise
GreenCare for Children

David Frank
Sunshine Daydreams Preschool & Child Development Center

Dr. Helen Matthews
Women Physicians for Women’s Health

Helen Nevins
Genevieve Didion K-8 School

Norman Policar
Genevieve Didion K-8 School

Bobbie Rose
UCSF Childcare Health Program

Children of Helen Nevins’ Class
Genevieve Didion K-8 School
Sacramento, CA

Children David Frank’s Class
Sunshine Daydreams Preschool & Child Development Center
Culver City, CA

Alison Geering-Kline, Caroline Cox, Charles Margulis
CEH Staff

Click for more details on lead in artificial turf.