For those of us who have serious concerns about the safety of our children while playing on synthetic turf fields, we now have another worry. Manufacturers are now responding to the flammability of tires by adding flame retardant chemicals to the recycled rubber infill material that is used to make the turf. In addition to the toxicity of the chemicals and heavy metals found in the tires, the dangerously high temperatures recorded on fields on hot days, the common injuries and MRSA risk, and the use of toxic disinfecting chemicals, we now have to think about brominated fire retardant chemicals!
Kids should play on organically maintained grass, where there are no chemicals to inadvertently breathe, ingest or absorb through their skin and where the pathogens in body fluids are destroyed by natural soil biology and the sun, or are carried away by the rain. Professional athletes prefer natural grass over synthetic turf because of its better resiliency, more natural ball roll, better overall feel to play on and reduced risk of injury. Isn’t that good for our kids too? You can read more from this study from Turfgrass Producers International.