Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has called on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to immediately remove and revise a report posted on its Website that may be â€œdangerously and deceptivelyâ€ misleading consumers into believing artificial turf has been proven safe.Â Blumenthal said the CPSC relied on a â€œgrossly inadequate and badly flawed studyâ€ in declaring synthetic turf safe to install and play on.Â Blumenthal said the study focused narrowly and insufficiently on leadâ€ and also failed to look at several other <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">toxic chemicals and concerns.
Blumenthalâ€”in his letter to CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Ann Nordâ€”wrote that the CPSCâ€™s claims, which he said are based on such a â€œcrudely cursory study,â€ may dangerously deceive municipal and state leaders nationwide about the safety of synthetic turf.Â Blumenthal also said that the CPSC has a moral and possibly legal obligation to immediately remove and revise its synthetic turf report from its Website; this, for the sake of public health and safety.Â â€œThis report and release are as deceptive as some of the advertising and marketing of consumer products prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys generalâ€¦.Â There is a clear and present danger that municipal and state decision makersâ€”as well as parents and citizensâ€”will rely on this unconscionably deficient report.Â It is replete with unsound scientific methodology and conclusions, and unreliable findings.Â It may lead to unsupportable and unwise commitments by towns and cities or their boards of education to build or replace athletic fields.Â I have personally reached no conclusion on the safety or health issues concerning artificial turf, because no complete or comprehensive study has been done.Â This one, far from being complete or comprehensive, is profoundly misleading and misguided and may lead to bad policymaking. Timely corrective actionâ€”indeed immediate revisionâ€”is essential.â€
Blumenthal cited the narrow scope of the study, â€œThe CPSC review of artificial turf safety focused entirely on the issue of lead contamination from artificial blades of grass.Â There is no indication that CPSC staff considered the transferability or emissionâ€”especially at high temperaturesâ€”of toxic chemicals from the crumb rubber used at the base of artificial turf.â€Â Blumenthal stated that crumb rubber generally contains benthothiazole, butyplated hydroxyanisole and phthalatesâ€”that may be toxic or carcinogenic under some circumstances.
Also noted were important exclusions, â€œThere is no indication that CPSC considered other important risks, some presented or aggravated by very high temperatures in the summer sun, and exposure to serious infection caused by the more extensive skin burns and abrasions created by falls on this material.Â Further, while CPSC staff admits that aging, wear and exposure to sunlight may change the amounts of chemicals released, CPSC has not even attempted to study or quantify the effects of those changes on health and safety.â€Â Blumenthal also mentioned that the study was incomplete, â€œEven as to the lead issue, the CSPC study is seriously and reprehensibly flawed. The study evaluated only 14 samples of artificial turf, even though thousands of these fields are in use. Worse, six samples were from portions of turf that was never installed or used, and one sample came from a field that was no longer in use. Thus, only half of the samplesâ€”or sevenâ€”were from turf in current use.Â It is mystifying and mindboggling that an agency charged with protecting our children from unsafe products would declare artificial turf â€˜OK to Install, OK to Play Onâ€™ without studying these critical health and safety threats.â€