DPH: Artificial Turf
Environmental and Occupational Health Assessment

Artificial Turf

                        {Artificial Turf}

Artificial turf fields have become a popular alternative to natural grass fields in many Connecticut towns.  The advantages of these fields include: less maintenance costs, ability to withstand intense use and no need for pesticides.  However, concerns have been raised about potential chemical exposures coming from the crumb rubber infill and the plastic grass blades commonly used in these fields.  The crumb rubber usually comes from recycled tires that contain man made compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

 

To address public safety concerns, four Connecticut state agencies collaborated to evaluate the potential exposures and risks from athletic use of artificial turf fields. A two year, comprehensive investigation of releases from five fields during active play was conducted by the Connecticut departments of Public Health, Energy and Environmental Protection, University of Connecticut Health Center, and The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. The study was peer-reviewed by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering.

 

The overall conclusion of the report is that use of outdoor artificial turf fields does not represent a significant health risk. The CT study did not find a large amount of vapor or particle released from the fields. These findings confirm prior reports from Europe and the US.  CT DPH put these exposures into a public health context by performing a risk assessment analysis. This analysis did not find elevated cancer risk. CT DPH published study results as a set of 3 articles in a peer review journal, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.  Fact sheets summarizing the study findings, as well as the entire report may be found at the links below.


CT DPH Materials Generated from the CT Study of Artificial Turf


Fact Sheets

Peer Reviewed Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Articles
CT Agency reports and Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) document review
The Connecticut study builds upon previous research by New York City (NYC), New York State Department of Health (NYS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

CT DPH previously prepared general fact sheets on chemical exposures from artificial turf fields, looking at earlier studies conducted in Europe and California:

Other Resources:




Content Last Modified on 7/28/2015 9:54:55 AM