The Facts About Artificial Grass and Lead

In recent days the dangers of lead contamination are again making headlines due to the troubling situation in Flint, Mich. Due to a terrifying and insidious chain of events, residents of Flint have been consuming lead-laced water for more than a year.

The contamination began when, in 2014, water officials attempted to stem a bacteria outbreak in Flint’s water supply. Chlorine levels were ramped up, but officials evidently failed to account for the corrosive effect of the additional chlorine. As a result, the highly-chlorinated water began leaching lead from city water pipes. According to The New York Times, data shows some neighborhoods had much higher lead levels than others and doctors found that the blood lead levels in some children had tripled.

It’s a nightmare situation, especially for parents fearful their children have been exposed to dangerous levels of lead. As Americans we have a reasonable expectation that basic infrastructure like water will be safe. Flint residents are responding with justifiable anger to the revelations of lead contamination.

No one should have to worry about lead contamination. At Purchase Green we take safety extremely seriously and all of our grass is lead-safe, meaning lead is undetectable in our grasses. All the artificial grass we sell is lab-tested in the United States and we post the results of those tests on our website.

A Closer Look at Lead

Lead is found in many places. Aside from the obvious (but relatively uncommon) danger of lead in drinking water, lead can be found in many other products. According to the EPA, products including paint, ceramics, pipes and plumbing materials, solders, gasoline, batteries, ammunition, and cosmetics may potentially contain lead.

Government regulations on the amount of lead vary depending on the material. Federal standards for lead in soil are 400 parts per million (ppm). That is the maximum allowable levels for soils on which children may play. The federal standard for all children’s products is 100 ppm. In California, where Purchase Green is headquartered, the law is that soils where children play may contain no more than 80 ppm.

Artificial grass in California comes under even stricter control. Current law requires artificial grass in the state to have lead levels at no more than 50 parts per million. This standard is a result of a 2008 lawsuit brought by then-Attorney General Jerry Brown against several other artificial turf companies.

At Purchase Green our grasses have all been tested, and are re-tested regularly. If you view our lead test results you’ll see that the result for each grass is <1.00 mg/Kg – what that number means is that lead is undetectable. Again, these tests results are readily available on the Purchase Green website.

Lead contamination is dangerous and can result in a variety of health problems, including nervous system damage. If you suspect a product you’re using may contain lead, even if its older artificial grass, there are ways you can have it tested. The Center for Environmental Health will test your old artificial grass for free. You can find out more by visiting http://www.ceh.org/campaigns/legal-action/previous-work/other-products/lead-in-artificial-turf-testing-and-settlements/.

Purchase Green is committed to providing our customers with products that are safe for everyone to use. The still-unfolding situation in Flint is an unsettling reminder that sometimes things we think are safe may not be. That’s precisely why we make sure our grasses are held to the highest safety standard and why we’re happy to share the results of our lead tests.

We want you to be able to enjoy your grass with your children and your pets for years to come and do so completely worry-free. If you have any questions about Purchase Green artificial grass, let us know or stop by your local Purchase Green store.

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Posted on January 26, 2016