After all of the concerns and suspicions about the safety of synthetic grass surfaces with regard to lead content, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) conducted an independent analysis and assessment.

To do this the CPSC gathered synthetic turf products from either newly installed off-cuts or from pieces that became available after fields were dismantled. In service fields were also visited and portable X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) testing equipment to detect the presence of lead in the product.

The intention was to consider that exposure to the lead present in some synthetic turf products could get on children’s hands and that the lead could then be transferred from hands to mouths during or after play of the field.

CPSC staff recognizes a level of 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (10 mg/dL) as a level of concern with respect to lead poisoning. To prevent children from exceeding this level, the staff suggests that chronic ingestion of lead from consumer products should not exceed 15 mg lead/day.

The results for this set of tested synthetic turf fields show no case in which the estimated exposure for children playing on the field would exceed 15 mg lead/day.

To reach this finding the CPSC conducted wipe sampling and tested whether the lead that were contained in the tested products were accessible to children using it. This same kind of wipe sampling was conducted to determine the possibility of children developing arsenic poisoning from playing on playground apparatus that were built using chromated copper arsenic.

The bottom line indicated that while there is some ingestion of lead arising from playing on synthetic grass, the level falls below the level where such ingestion would be considered a concern. The results of this study should alleviate some of the concerns that were raised by an earlier synthetic grass study that was done by the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.