STC comments on European infill study

The Synthetic Turf Council (STC), the world’s largest organization representing the synthetic turf industry, commented on an exploratory study recently released by the Netherlands National Institute for Public (“RIVM”) on the environmental impact of rubber granulate on synthetic turf fields.

Dan Bond, President and CEO of the Synthetic Turf Council, said, “The Synthetic Turf Council fully supports the RIVM’s desire to keep the environment safe and free of any harm, and we applaud the stated finding by the RIVM that drinking water derived from groundwater near synthetic turf pitches is safe. Given the emotional debate surrounding synthetic turf fields with recycled rubber infill, it is important for municipalities and school districts alike to know that local water sources are safe. Furthermore, the RIVM wrote that children exposed to border soil through ingestion, inhalation, or skin exposure are not at risk.

We find it unfortunate, however, that the RIVM concludes that recycled rubber infill may lead to localized contamination of soil borders. It is critical to note that the RIVM stated that there were no indications that birds or mammals face any adverse effects. Additionally, we agree with the RIVM’s conclusions that there are no risks resulting from consumption of fruit and vegetables sprayed by ditch water in the area of such fields, that ditches around synthetic turf fields do not have higher levels of pollutants than those around natural grass fields, and that the concentration of substances in sediment at the bottom of these ditches was not as high as that in soil borders studied.

The RIVM’s study follows more than 100 peer-reviewed academic studies, third-party reports and federal and state government analyses that have not found public health concerns from playing on synthetic turf fields with recycled rubber infill. While a minority of the findings of this study are concerning, we applaud the RIVM for providing critical context and certainty for policymakers regarding safety of synthetic turf fields with recycled rubber infill.”

Link to results of exploratory study.