Thursday, January 8, 2009

Can artifical turf be green?

In the past six months, I've read numerous articles about recent lead contamination - or at least high levels of lead in artificial turf at universities and sports facilities.

Frankly, I am becoming immune to all the toxic news that I continue to hear. Why? Because it no longer surprises me.


Most of us understand that lead (Pb) has been linked to lower IQ scores in children and is considered to be a neurotoxin that causes permanent brain damage. It can also result in mental retardation, kidney damage, and at high enough exposure, death. (Full article here from USA Today, 2008)

The trend of implementing artificial turf on school athletic fields has created political problems as well as a third party groups known as "nay sayers". Most often the funds for these fields are paid for by generous individuals or other sponsors with big brand names. So what is the remedy?

You'll notice different positioning. As for fake grass, you don't need to mow it, water it, fertilize it, or trim it. A unique proposition to reduce one's carbon footprint. However, I stress to you that it most likely contains PVC, which means it lasts forever - even in the landfill. The alternative is to proceed with natural grass, which facilities managers could opt for electric mowers, organic fertilizers, low VOC paints, and post consumer materials for the foundation and covers.

Moreover, what would be interesting to see the future of golf courses? Could we have more artificial based golf courses? Tiger Woods wouldn't be happy about that concept! How are they surviving in this economic recession today and even in the past six months when gasoline as at a record high of $4.50 a gallon. I'm sure many have closed doors and considered electric mowers and other incentives. What are your thoughts?

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