Tests on artificial turf fields at two more North Jersey high schools have found high lead levels

In Uncategorized on June 19, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Tests on artificial turf fields at two more North Jersey high schools have found high lead levels and prompted school officials to ask for guidance from state and federal agencies.


The lead content on Ramapo High School’s field was measured up to six times the state standard of 400 milligrams per kilogram for residential soil, according to district consultant RK Occupational & Environmental Analysis.

The content at Indian Hills High School’s field was up to seven times the state standard, according to the consultant.

FAST FACTSIn recent days, four North Jersey artificial turf fields have tested for high levels of lead. They are:

Ramapo High School in Franklin Lakes

Indian Hills High School in Oakland

Northern Valley Regional High School in Demarest

Northern Valley Regional High School in Old Tappan
The fields at Ramapo, which is in Franklin Lakes, and Indian Hills, in Oakland, will be closed to summer sports camps, district Superintendent Paul Saxton said.

“We’re not going to be using either of our fields until we complete further testing,” Saxton said. The results will not be available for several days.

The fields are the third and fourth artificial surfaces to close in recent weeks because of concerns about lead.

Is Ridgwood testing Maple Field for lead?


This is a waste of time unless you are the one getting paid to conduct tests.

NJDHSS reported even the old fileds in Hoboken are safe and yet we are all ready to join the ridiculous parade of people pretending they actually think playing on these fields is dangerous.

Key Findings

From its tests, the NJDHSS reported that the amount of lead chromate contained in fibers from the three fields available for absorption in the intestine, which is where food altered by stomach acid is absorbed by the blood and lymphatic systems, ranged from 2.5% to 11%. We used the most extreme scenario, 11%, to calculate the amount of turf that would have to be ingested to equal the federal standard of 600 parts per million. In practical terms, it is virtually impossible for a child to be at risk from synthetic turf:

— According to calculations made by forensic toxicologist Dr. David
Black, a 50 lb. child would have to ingest over 100 lbs. of synthetic
turf to be at risk of absorbing enough lead to equal the minimum
threshold of elevated blood lead. That level is even more unreachable
than Dr. Black’s original worst case bioaccessibility, which was based
on ingesting 23 lbs. of turf.

— The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s guidance states that young
children “should not chronically ingest more than 15 micrograms of
lead per day from consumer products.” Putting these test results in
perspective, polymer and fiber engineering specialist Dr. Davis Lee
calculated that a child playing on the three New Jersey fields would
have to wipe his fingers on the turf and put them in his mouth 750
times in a day to receive enough lead to equal the CPSC threshold

— Dr. David Black performed the same tests as the NJDHSS, using the same
protocol during late May, which showed an average bioaccessibility of
4%. The results of the two tests are similar and validate the safety
of synthetic turf, including the synthetic turf NJDHSS reported to
contain concentrations of lead chromate of between 3,400 and 4,700
part per million.

In addition to that there are countless studies both domestic and international; you just wnat to find a problem with it. It is amazing how many people there are that live for finding problems. Here is a field that is great, safer than the crappy fields the kids usually play on and evironmentally safer in many respects than regular fields. But no, let’s find problems with it. Let’s follow the buch of stupid CYA politicians closing down safe fields


  1. If the tests are done and they come back negative, will the nattering nabobs of negativism be silenced?

  2. no it still is a waste of money.800000.is a lot yes it looks great but to much money.and its only good for 10 to 12 years.then what is it going to be.hummmmmmmmmmmm.

  3. Please do not respond to this or any other posts on this issue. The fear mongers want to keep this debate going as long as they can, regardless of how absurd it may be. Every time a “concern” is discredited, they move onto another one. Their plan is to scare Ridgewood into not installing more FieldTurf fields. Don’t get sucked into their game.

  4. This is all much to do about nothing. If you ate 100 pounds of Vets field you would die too.

  5. 5:30,

    Very funny but not likely unless Vets is polluted like Orchard.

  6. I agree that this thread has run its course and no more time should be wasted discussing it. Anyone with a shread of common sense can see that suggesting that anyone could eat 100 pounds fiber (hundreds of square feet of turf), which is woven into the field’s surface and is not easily removed, is outrageous. If you want to read the facts surrounding this issue go back and see the threads under “High Lead Levels Close Local Ballfields”, posted on June 10 and “By Itself, Playing on the Fields Does Not Pose a Health Concern”, posted on June 13. Enough is enough!

  7. Maple Field should be tested for lead now that 2 other Field Turf fields have tested for high lead content and have been closed. No one expects anyone to eat 100 lbs of artificial turf. The real danger is the cumulative effect of lead exposure. Lead in from toys “Made in China”, lead in the paint of our 50+ houses and now artificial turf.

  8. 3:18 PM if you are going to steal phrases originated by others, please credit them.

  9. 8:29 am; so if we are going to take your approach let’s test the RHS track and field as well. Since you must be getting paid to do tests; the RHS track is made of shredded tires glued down and painted and is 25 years old. I am sure this must be really hazardous as you run around the track and inhale all the tiny specs of rubber and paint. We must test and then rip it up and install a new lead – free, safer Field Turf desinged field with a lead free rubber track around it.

  10. Hey, its lunch time. going down to eat some field.

  11. If you do have lunch at Maple Field be sure to follow the Center for Diseases Controls advice in today’s Record: People who use the fields should wash “aggressively” with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, remove clothing worn on the field as soon as possible to avoid spreading the dust. Cloths warn should be washed separately from other items.

  12. The scientist at the CDC know nothing about how real people live real lives. Yes, there is lead in these fields but believe me no one is ever going to get sick from it. This has just been turned into an ambulance chaser’s (and those who want to get caught) dream world. I do not like Turf fields. I prefer the muddy unpredictability of a natural field. No one, in their right mind, could ever believe Turf fields will ever get anyone sick.

  13. The Lacrosse Dads are dithering….

    Take the sport into Paterson or Nyack and RHS would have trouble getting over .500

  14. From the Center for Disease Control & Prevention

    “Young children often place their toys, fingers, and other objects in their mouths as part of their normal development. This hand-to-mouth activity may put them in contact with lead paint or dust”

    Do kids who fall on the turf fields come in contact with lead dust? Do they put their fingers in their mouths when eating the half time oranges?

  15. I think that the track is a lot newer than 25 years.

  16. The track was replaced just before Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and had to be ripped up and replaced after the flood. A daunting job if these fields were turf!

  17. 6:10…

    There is NO LEAD DUST on these fields. The lead chromate in the green dye is encapsulated (that means “totally sealed from the environment”, for you those of you keep focusing on this issue). The only way that the lead is released is when the fibers are dissolved in acid. In fact, the NJDHSS has questioned whether ingesting the fibers will even release the lead, since it is likely that the fibers would pass through the digestive system too quickly for this to occur.

    Bottom line…there is no activity that could possible take place on a FieldTurf field that would expose a person to lead. The suggestion that there is lead dust from the fibers is TOTALLY FICTITIOUS. Thus, rinsing off after playing on the fields to remove the fictitious dust or worrying about a toddler putting fingers in his or her mouth are unnecessary.

  18. 3:53 PM

    You seem to have a big stake in the turf fields. Do you work for the turf company of you one of the people who pushed to have it installed? Why so defensive?

  19. I think it’s normal to become defensive when you are the target of someone’s offense.

  20. 4:49…

    This debate has dragged on far too long because people continue to post factually incorrect and misleading information. Don’t you think people should have the correct information before deciding whether we call for replacing Maple Field or vote on adding more turf fields? I do.

    Why don’t you ask the ant-turf people why they are so untruthful and misleading, and why they insist on bullying people to conform to their view?

  21. So explain the high levels of lead when tested? If what your saying is true there should be 0 levels.

  22. 9:54…

    See the post above at 3:53. The EPA soil tests dissolves the fibers in acid in order to release the lead. No acid…No lead.

  23. Maybe they should test the grass fields as well to see if the lead, or anything else, was contained in the soil before it was covered with turf. Years and years of chemicals applications, goose droppings and acid rain may have show that turf is actually safer.

  24. One of the characteristics of the artificial fields is that they run hot. When artifical turf fields soak up sunlight and reach high temperatures there is a danger the fields can release chemicals into the air.At temperatures over 120 degrees, Harvard Medical School professor of otology Barbara Fullerton said rubber latex crumbs in the synthetic turf that contain traces of volatile organic compounds could be emitted into the air.

    “Everyone is in agreement that there is some level of exposure of athletes to the chemicals that are ‘out-gassed’ from the rubber crumbs,” wrote Fullerton. “What is not known is the amount of exposure with different conditions on the field, such as the amount of sun exposure, level of the sun in the sky, wind speed, moisture in the turf, to mention a few of the physical variables.”

    Fullerton said exposure to those chemicals limits lung function and increases respiratory problems and rates of asthma.

  25. Der 8:40 AM: I hope you are kidding. If not, there is no hope for rational thinking in this debate. Both sides lose if grass or turf was placed on a toxic site but for give me for perferring the devil I do know from the one I don’t which is starting to sound worse than what I had reason to believe. I have lived in Ridgewood for many years and want only the best for the village and I am willing to pay for it. From all I have gleaned, quality grass fields{ which cost more to maintain than we have spent in the past} is the way to go: environmentally, athletically and esthetically.

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