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Artificial Turf and Potential Cancer-Causing Agents

Oct 5, 2023 | Artificial Turf

Artificial turf has become a popular choice for landscaping, sports fields, and playgrounds due to its low maintenance and year-round green appearance. However, in recent years, concerns have arisen regarding potential health risks associated with the materials used in some artificial turf products, including the presence of potential cancer-causing agents. This blog post aims to shed light on these concerns and provide information for residents of California, where the use of artificial turf is widespread.

Artificial Turf and its Components

Synthetic grass, commonly referred to as fake grass, comprises several components, including:

  • Synthetic Grass Blades: These are the fibers that mimic natural grass and create the green appearance of the turf. They are typically made from materials like polyethylene or polypropylene.
  • Infill Material: Infill serves as a support structure and adds cushioning to the turf. Common infill materials include crumb rubber, sand, and organic infills like coconut husks or cork.
  • Backing Material: This is the layer that holds the grass blades and infill in place. It is often made from materials like polyurethane or latex.

Artificial Turf and Potential Cancer-Causing Agents

The primary concern related to artificial turf in California revolves around the use of crumb rubber as an infill. Manufacturers make crumb rubber from recycled tires, and it contains a mixture of rubber and other chemicals. Some studies have raised questions about the potential health risks associated with crumb rubber due to the presence of certain chemicals, including:

  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): PAHs are chemicals present in tire rubber and are known to have potential carcinogenic effects when people inhale or ingest them.
  • Heavy Metals: Recycled tire rubber can also contain traces of heavy metals, such as lead and zinc, which can be harmful to health, especially in children.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Some artificial turf products may release VOCs, which can contribute to indoor air pollution and have potential health implications.

California’s Response to Potential Cancer-Causing Agents

The state of California has taken steps to address these concerns. In 2019, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) conducted an evaluation. This evaluation focused on assessing the potential health risks associated with synthetic turf and crumb rubber infill. They concluded that more research is necessary to fully understand the extent of these risks. This conclusion stands despite the limited evidence of potential health risks.

What to do to be Protected from Cancer-Causing Agents

If you have artificial turf on your property, or if your child plays on artificial turf surfaces, here are some precautionary steps you can consider:

  • Choose Alternative Infill: You might consider using alternative infill materials like sand, cork, or coconut husks, which people perceive as safer options.
  • Frequent Cleaning: Regularly clean and maintain it to reduce the accumulation of dust and debris.
  • Wash Hands and Clothes:  After playing on artificial turf, it’s important to encourage children to take certain steps. These steps include washing their hands and changing their clothes, which can help minimize their exposure to any potential contaminants.
  • Stay Informed: Keep an eye on updates from the OEHHA and other relevant authorities for the latest information on artificial turf safety.

While concerns persist about potential cancer-causing agents in artificial turf, particularly crumb rubber infill, researchers are actively conducting ongoing studies. It’s crucial to stay informed about any developments in this area. California authorities are actively monitoring the situation and taking steps to address any potential risks. In the meantime, residents can take precautionary measures to protect their health and stay informed about developments in this area.

Contact an Attorney in California!

If you have concerns about potential health risks associated with artificial turf and cancer-causing agents, taking action is crucial. Seek legal guidance to address your concerns and protect your rights. Contact KAASS LAW attorneys today to discuss your situation and explore your rights and options. Your health and well-being should always come first, and legal experts can help you navigate this complex issue. Don’t hesitate; take action now to protect yourself and your loved ones. Additionally, we encourage you to explore our supplementary website for further insights into how we can be of assistance.