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Artificial Turf Infill: A Comparative Assessment of Chemical Contents

Peer reviewed article in March 2020 issue of New Solutions journal about artificial turf infills.

Concerns have been raised regarding toxic chemicals found in tire crumb used as infill in artificial turf and other play surfaces. A hazard-based analysis was conducted, comparing tire crumb with other materials marketed as alternative infills. These include other synthetic polymers as well as plant- and mineral-based materials. The comparison focused on the presence, absence, number, and concentration of chemicals of concern. No infill material was clearly free of concerns, but several are likely to be somewhat safer than tire crumb. Some alternative materials contain some of the same chemicals of concern as those found in tire crumb; however, they may contain a smaller number of these chemicals, and the chemicals may be present in lower quantities. Communities making choices about playing surfaces are encouraged to examine the full range of options, including the option of organically managed natural grass.