Astro turf safe?

The argument for laying artificial turf is to allow a playing field to be used more often in all conditions.

There are questions about the health effects of artificial turf that relate to how it is made.

Esentially artificial turf is made by grinding up old car tyres.  Around 26,000 tyres are needed for each playing field.  Plastic grass is then laid ontop of the layer of rubber, with small rubber granuals (artificial dirt) sprinkled ontop to keep the artificial grass upright, and to aid sliding by players.

  • There are questions about whether posionous chemicals in the tyres can leach into ground water or become airborne.
  • Artificial turf does not have natural bacterial control of real grass, meaning that it has to be cleaned regularly of human and animal fluids.  Bacteria can survive up to 90 days on artificial turf.
  • Artificial turf can heat up to high temperatures in the sun, creating a heat island effect.  It often has to be watered to cool its temperature down or it could burn players.

You can read more about these issues:

This month’s edition of Pitchcare Oceania (a magazine serving the turfcare industry) has a story online about artificial turf.pitchcare

The story essentially lays out a whole lot of questions that should be asked by anyone contemplating installing artificial turf.

The topics include health and safety concerns, environmental concerns and cost concerns.

Has Marrickville Council asked and answered all these questions yet?

Click here to view the story.

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