Leading Recycled Rubber and Synthetic Turf Industry Group Members Voluntarily Move to Adopt Key Safety Standard

Sources: Recycled Rubber Council, Safe Fields Alliance, Synthetic Turf Council

Recycled Rubber Council, Safe Fields Alliance, and Synthetic Turf Council Members Commit to Adhering to ASTM Toy Standards for Synthetic Turf Infills

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading members of the recycled rubber and synthetic turf industries today announced that they are jointly cooperating to ensure all synthetic turf and playground infills meet new ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) toy standards for heavy metals to further ensure safety for youth athletes.

ASTM International is the leading global standards organization, establishing industry-wide standards across a wide range of materials, including for all toys sold within the United States. With today’s announcement, all synthetic turf field and playground infill created and used by leading members of the Recycled Rubber Council, Safe Fields Alliance, and Synthetic Turf Council will comply with F3188-16, the Standard Specification for Extractable Hazardous Metals in Synthetic Turf Infill Materials. This comes in addition to products already meeting standards set by the European Union.

“Our industry firmly believes in taking proactive steps to augment ongoing testing by the federal government to reassure parents and policymakers that the fields and playgrounds children play on are every bit as safe as the toys they play with,” said Steve Bigelow, President of the Recycled Rubber Council. “We’ve chosen to voluntarily take this step to demonstrate our commitment to children safety, and we continue to welcome all further scientific-based testing and collaboration towards achieving these ends.”

“Today’s announcement simply reinforces our industry’s commitment to safety and transparency, which we have also made clear through our support of the current federal multi-agency study,” said Rom Reddy, Managing Partner of Sprinturf. “At the same time, it is important to reaffirm that based on dozens of reports, including peer-reviewed academic studies and federal and state government analyses, recycled rubber infill has no link to any health issues. Hopefully this will go one step further towards alleviating any concerns around this issue.”

“With the addition of F3188-16 to our industry guidelines for infill, we continue to take voluntarily steps to adopt key safety standards in the use of our products,” said Daniel Bond, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Synthetic Turf Council. “We are committed to adopting the most stringent of standards moving forward.”

Given the possibility for athletes participating in sports on synthetic turf playing fields to come into contact with or ingest particles of infill materials, through being in compliance with ASTM toy standards, members of the Recycled Rubber Council, Safe Fields Alliance, and Synthetic Turf Council are committed to delivering products where the levels of extractable metals—present at low levels within many everyday products—are within ranges deemed to be safe in children’s toys.

About the Recycled Rubber Council

The Recycled Rubber Council (RRC) serves manufacturers, processors, and distributors of recycled rubber products; entities that supply products or services to those that manufacture or process recycled rubber products; and individuals or entities that benefit from recycled rubber products. Its mission is to communicate, advocate, and educate about the safety and beneficial uses of recycled rubber. For more information, please visit http://www.recycledrubbersafetycouncil.org/.

About the Safe Fields Alliance

The Safe Fields Alliance (SFA) is a coalition dedicated to educating stakeholders around the safety of synthetic turf fields and crumb rubber, including that based on an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence, there is no link between turf and crumb rubber and health issues. Three of the leading North American manufacturers of synthetic turf fields – FieldTurf, Sprinturf, and AstroTurf, working alongside several leading recycled rubber manufacturers, came together to help alleviate concerns related to this issue. For more information, please visit www.safefieldsalliance.com.

About the Synthetic Turf Council

Based in Maryland, the Synthetic Turf Council was founded in 2003 to promote the industry and to assist buyers and end users with the selection, use and maintenance of synthetic turf systems in sports field, golf, municipal parks, airports, landscape and residential applications. The organization is also a resource for current, credible, and independent research on the safety and environmental impact of synthetic turf, as well as technical guidance on the selection, installation, maintenance, and environmentally responsible disposal of synthetic turf. Membership includes builders, landscape architects, testing labs, maintenance providers, manufacturers, suppliers, installation contractors, infill material suppliers and other specialty service companies. For more information, visit www.syntheticturfcouncil.org.

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