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Artificial Turf  

Resources to help communities decide whether to install artificial turf on municipal and school fields.
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Health & Environmental Impacts Print Page


A number of studies indicate a basis for concern about toxic chemicals in artificial turf and crumb rubber. Below is a brief compilation of recent publications on the topic. This page includes resources from government agencies, health care providers, nonprofit organizations, and peer reviewed journal articles. For more information about artificial turf and safer alternatives, also see TURI’s Artificial Turf webpage.


    Resources from state agencies

    Washington State Department of Health - Investigation of Reported Cancer among Soccer Players in Washington State, January 2017. Note: See TURI's comments on this report, and see Clapp and Brown comments on this report below.

    Environmental Health Study of Synthetic Turf - August 2016 Update, CA - OEHHA, August 30, 2016.

    Artificial Turf Fields, Connecticut Department of Health, (updated April 5, 2016).

    OEHHA Synthetic Turf Study, Synthetic Turf Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting, Meeting Materials, February 8, 2016.

    The CT DPH Risk Assessment of Artificial Turf Fields Fact Sheet, December 2015.

    Safety Study of Artificial Turf Containing Crumb Rubber Infill Made from Recycled Tires, Calrecycle, October 2010.

    Artificial turf study: leachate and stormwater characteristics, CT DEP, July 2010.

    Connecticut Risk Assessment of Artificial Turf Fields, 2010.

    An Assessment of Chemical Leaching, Releases to Air and Temperature at Crumb-Rubber Infilled Synthetic Turf Fields, NY State Department of Environmental Conservation & NY State Department of Health, May 2009.

    Update: New Jersey Investigation of Artificial Turf and Human Health Concerns, June 2008.

    DHSS [New Jersey] releases final artificial turf test results, June 2008.

    Evaluation of Health Effects of Recycled Waste Tires in Playground and Track Products, California - OEHHA, January 2007.


    Peer reviewed journal articles

    Watterson, A. "Artificial Turf: Contested Terrains for Precautionary Public Health with Particular Reference to Europe." Environmental Research and Public Health, September 2017.

    Llompart, M. et al. "Hazardous organic chemicals in rubber recycled tire playgrounds and pavers." Chemosphere, January 2013.

    Menichini, E. et al. "Artificial-turf playing fields: Contents of metals, PAHs, PCBs, PCDDs and PCDFs, inhalation exposure to PAHs and related preliminary risk assessment." Science of The Total Environment, November 2011.

    Simcox, N. et al. “Synthetic Turf Field Investigation in Connecticut.” Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health 2011.

    Van Ulirsch, G. et al. "Evaluating and regulating lead in synthetic turf." Environmental Health Perspectives, October 2010.

    Bocca, B. et al. "Metals contained and leached from rubber granulates used in synthetic turf areas." The Science of the Total Environment, March 2009.

    Claudio, L. "Synthetic turf: Health debate takes root." Environmental Health Perspectives, March 2008.

    Anderson, ME. et al. "A Case Study of Tire Crumb Use on Playgrounds: Risk Analysis and Communication When Major Clinical Knowledge Gaps Exist." Environmental Health Perspectives, January 2006.

    Chien Y. C., et al. “Assessment of occupational health hazards in scrap-tire shredding facilities.” Sci Total Environ., June 2003.

    Melnick, RL. et al. "Inhalation toxicology and carcinogenicity of 1,3-butadiene in B6C3F1 mice following 65 weeks of exposure." Environmental Health Perspectives, June 1990.


      Video Resources

      Dr. Philip Landrigan, MD, Director of the Children's Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, discusses the health hazards of crumb rubber artificial turf playing fields. Video published by NRDC,

      Toxics Use Reduction Institute - University of Massachusetts Lowell
      600 Suffolk St. - Wannalancit Mills - Lowell MA 01854

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