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Artificial turf poses lead risk, California attorney general says


There's more to artificial turf than meets the eye, according to California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown. The A.G. has sued several manufacturers of the ersatz grass, saying they failed to disclose lead hazards, as staffer Marc Lifsher reports.

The lawsuit, which has been joined by Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo and the Solano County Dist. Atty. David W. Paulson, names Beaulieu Group of Georgia, AstroTurf of Georgia and FieldTurf USA Inc. of Florida.

All three companies said they were working with California officials to settle the lawsuit and stressed that their products were safe. AstroTurf, an artificial turf pioneer, said in a statement that it "has demonstrated its industry leadership by proactively developing new products that are below the most stringent standards for lead in consumer products."

The turf is less dangerous when new, according to the A.G. But as it ages, it breaks down to dust that contains lead.

-- Geoffrey Mohan

Photo: Christine Cotter/Los Angeles Times

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Georgia parent of 7 and 9 year old. Our county recently passed Splost III to pay additional taxes for school improvements. Much touting of Splost I and II's successes pushed it through, including the installation of artificial turf on several school football fields. Around the same time, I became aware of this lawsuit. It was actually in the same paper!!! How do I find out if this is the product installed by Splost? In one online source, Beaulieu Group LLC of Georgia says they do not produce the product used on sports facilities. How do concerned parents research this information?

I learned yesterday that one of the oldest turf fields (Mary Rieke Field) in Oregon was being closed to children under age 11 due to potentially high lead content. My daughter played on that field as a Freshman High School goal keeper 3 years ago. She got a huge and nasty turf burn and within a week was complaining of abdominal pains, muscle pain, headaches, extreme fatigue and lack of appetite which took us to the ER 4 times in about three weeks. She missed a lot of school during the Fall of her Freshman year of High School as a result. She went undiagnosed after multiple tests for appendicitis, auto-immune disorders, bacterial infections, etc. I suspect now, that she had a high lead exposure directly to the blood stream.

there has been a growing concern in many parts of the country as even High Schools opt for "fake" grass. It's great to see CA's Attorney General taking action!

I recently purchased a soaker hose made of recycled tires. On the inside label was a warning that there was low level lead in the material. Since there is increasingly popularity with mulches made with recycled tires to be used under playground equipment, is there a possiblilty that it may be a problem since children naturally put their hands to their mouths and roll in the material?


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