The Twin Ponds Park fields were paid for by the 2006 Parks Bond project/ The fields are considered better environmentally in many ways , because of the lack of need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. They are also constructed so they are "permeable" to stormwater.
However questions have been raised in the past about what happens to the fields as wear and tear and the elements cause a breakdown of the components of these artificial grass fields.
This article raises serious questions about the actual safety of Field Turf when exposed to the elements.
From the "Herald of Scotland".
Warning of threat to children posed by artificial grass
17 Oct 2010
can become contaminated after a few years’ use with enough lead to poison children, scientists have warned.
A new study has raised fears for the health of millions of children who use synthetic surfaces worldwide for sports or play, prompting calls for “urgent checks” in the UK.
There are thousands of football, hockey and tennis surfaces made from synthetic turf across the UK. According to sportscotland, there are 232 full-size synthetic playing pitches in Scotland.
US health researchers have discovered that after two to four years or more of wear and tear, some artificial grass can begin to release lead dust. This has caused playing fields in the US being closed down because they were regarded as hazardous.
Lead, a heavy metal, has long been recognised as a potential health danger, and was eliminated from petrol and paint 20 years ago. If it gets into the body, it can cause brain damage, as well as and cancer.
Synthetic turf can deteriorate to form dust containing lead at levels that may pose a risk to children,
Safety limits have been progressively tightened over the years, but some scientists now argue there may be no safe level of lead exposure for children. However, a lead-based pigment has been used to colour fake grass.
The research, by scientists at the US health departments in New York, Las Vegas and New Jersey, found lead levels in breach of US legal safety limits at 12 out of 29 tested synthetic surfaces.in Atlanta, Georgia, in partnership with
Researchers also tested four new artificial turf products and found that two of them exceeded the US statutory lead limit. The lead was found in grass made of nylon, polyethylene and mixtures of the two.
“Synthetic turf can deteriorate to form dust containing lead at levels that may pose a risk to children,” concluded the study, published in this month’s edition of the scientific journal, Environmental Health Perspectives.
“Given elevated lead levels in turf and dust on recreational fields and in child care settings, it is imperative that a consistent, nationwide approach for sampling, assessment, and action be developed.”
The Sports and Play Construction Association, which represents the synthetic turf industry, has pointed out other US studies that have concluded children are not at risk. “To date, no study has linked turf exposures to elevated childhood lead blood levels,” said the association’s Dr Colin Young.
“In light of these overwhelming findings we have no concerns about the safety of synthetic turf regarding the health risks caused by lead levels for use by children or adults.”
Evergreens UK, one of the UK’s leading stockists of artificial grass, is also confident its products are not dangerous and a spokesman said traces of contamination have only been found in some grasses produced with inferior yarns in the US and Asia.
Sportscotland has promised to examine the new study. “We are aware of the potential contamination issue, but our understanding is that the risk is fairly minimal,” said a spokesman for the Government agency.
But Professor Andrew Watterson, head of the Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group at the University of Stirling, insisted the turf poses dangers.
“The evidence now suggests that there could be significant lead contamination, with ageing and wear and tear, in some types of artificial turfs used in recreational, residential and childcare facilities in the UK,” he said.
“There is a case for urgent checks not only on the imports of artificial turfs but on the condition of such turfs already in place.
“The UK should follow the US example in trying to establish methods to monitor such lead levels and reduce exposures,” he told the Sunday Herald.