Is Artificial Grass Dangerous?


We’re just kidding. Of course artificial grass is NOT dangerous. But, recently an NBC investigative report raised health concerns around the use of crumb rubber in sports fields and a possible connection to soccer goalies diagnosed with cancer. Crumb rubber manufacturers and a collection sports turf factories, in addition to the Synthetic Turf Council or the Association of Synthetic Turf Manufacturers, are now weighing in.

At Purchase Green we’re keeping our finger on the pulse of things. While our landscape grasses don’t use crumb rubber, it’s still an important issue we’d like to keep our customers appraised of. Here’s what we know:

Crumb rubber infill (CRI) used in artificial turf is processed from recycled tires. CRI must be processed and tested rigorously for safety, purity, and quality to meet industry standards. The Synthetic Turf Council cites numerous scientific studies done in the past 22 years that provide evidence that there is no negative health effects associated with the use of crumb rubber in artificial grass. Purchase Green tends to favor the more modern sports systems where shock pads and acrylic encapsulated infills are used. Historically however, CRI has been known as an effective and safe option for infill that promotes sustainability in the re-use of old tires.

Fortunately, our customers can rest easy while the scientists sort out the issue. Our residential artificial lawns don’t use crumb rubber infill. Here’s a little background:

Artificial lawns are comprised of two things: artificial grass and infill. Infill is used to protect the durability of the artificial grass and also to create shock resistance.

While the evidence indicates that crumb rubber is a good infill option for use in artificial lawns, we choose to provide our customers with what we believe are better options. We don’t actually stock any crumb rubber in our warehouses – as the latest technology is focused more around cooler options that feel more comfortable and look more realistic. We’ve generally advised against crumb rubber primarily because it can get so hot.

For non-sports turfs, we use silica sand. Silica sand works well for residential lawns because it does everything crumb rubber does to ensure durability and quality of your artificial grass, while being a more natural and inexpensive alternative.

For sports fields, we recommend using a combination of HeroFill infill and shock pads to create impact attenuation properties that are needed in sports activities. HeroFill is an acrylic encapsulated silica sand infill that is specially designed for artificial lawn systems; it resists odor and compaction so it won’t harden over the life of your artificial lawn while also providing added benefits such as inhibition of fungal growth. Shock pads reduce the force of impact by creating cushioning effects. The use of shock pads is necessary when installing artificial turf on sports fields, as they help alleviate the impact force of falls much like natural grass does.

Purchase Green has always provided safe and quality products, and we will continue to do so as we truly believe that we’re building relationships with our customers for the long haul. We love keeping up on everything artificial grass, so we thought it was a good time to pitch some info to our customers concerning the crumb rubber discussion. Of course, the title of our blog is facetious. As far as artificial grass, there really isn’t anything safer. It just sits there and lets you walk all over it. It’s quite meek actually. If you have any questions or comments whatsoever, feel free to contact us.

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Posted on November 7, 2014