Is Turf Safe to Play On?

Posted October 2014

turf pelletsVienna Youth Soccer has contacted Fairfax County Parks and Rec to ask about the contents and safety of soccer turf fields.  The Fairfax County Athletic Council (FCAC) have met to review the various studies around the safety of artificial turf.  Further information regarding the contents of Fairfax County turf fields and the Council's recommendations are forthcoming.

In the interim, VYS suggests all goalies wear long shirts and pants during play to avoid contact with the pellets and recommend all players wash their hands after playing on turf.

Recently, an NBC report aired on the potential health risks related to the rubber fiberfill from artificial turf.  Results are inconclusive, but has made one university soccer coach question the safety of the crumb rubber fiberfill that we see and our players come in contact with every week.  Crumb rubber (black pellets) found in turf fields all over the US have prompted the latest concern over whether this synthetic material contains carcinogens and other toxic substances that can lead to cancer.  

Read more on the investigation:  How Safe is the Artificial Turf on Your Child's Sports Field?

Learn more about the facts of artificial turf: Synthetic Turf Fields, Fairfax County Park Authority

Additional Resources:

Sources Regarding Potential Carcinogens on Synthetic Turf Fields

A.     Resources Initially Sent to the FCAC

1.       NBC news story and video

2.       Report  from a non-profit environmental group

3.       Report from the National Institutes of Health

4.       Letter to EPA from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

B.      Additional Resources

5.       EPA study

6.       A CDC Report

7.       New Jersey Dept. of Health Report

C. Sources Cited on the Fairfax County Fact Sheet

8.       New York City Dept. of Health Fact Sheet

9.       New York City Dept. of Health Ai quality Survey of Synthetic Fields

10.   New York City Dept. Of Health Review of Health and Safety Risks form certain Synthetic Turf Fields

11.   Connecticut department of public health human health risk assessment of artificial turf fields

12.   New York state health department crumb rubber infill fact sheet

13.   Connecticut academy of science and engineering committee report: Peer review of an evaluation  of the health and environmental impacts associated with synthetic turf playing fields.

14.   California department of resources recycling and recovery report to the legislature on the health impacts of outdoor artificial and natural turf fields

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