Thanks to the growth in popularity of synthetic turf surfaces used for playing sports around the country, the scrutiny has been intense from concerned parties. Each artificial grass manufacturer has had to ensure their products have been manufactured with the safety of the environment and the people who will be using their products firmly in the forefront of their minds.
The result has been a product that has been steadily improving in quality, meeting and exceeding health and safety guidelines. There have even been studies that have found that artificial turf surfaces are safer to play on than the traditional natural grass surfaces.
One of the key sticking points that have found the artificial grass industry under intense scrutiny has been the question of the safety of the crumb rubber infill that many surfaces use. This infill is made from recycled car tires that have been shredded and ground down into tiny bits of crumb and then spread over the turf as a means of helping the grass fibers stand up like real grass does.
The concern was in the toxins that are contained in the crumb rubber and the fact that these toxins may begin to escape as the rubber breaks down over years of use. Fears abounded that poisons could be ingested through contact with the rubber and that people using the playing fields were at risk of serious health issues. These fears have been found to be largely unfounded and there have been studies published such as the one published in February 2010 by the University of California, Berkeley that dealt with the health risks surrounding crumb rubber among many other fears that have been raised over recent years.
There will always be opponents of the use of artificial turf as a replacement for natural grass. This opposition stems largely from a fear of change rather than any solid factual reason why an artificial surface should not be used instead of real grass. In the meantime it appears that the artificial grass industry will continue to expand and improve its products.