Michigan State University (MSU) Study on Synthetic Turf Surfaces
According to the results of a year-long Michigan State University study, which was selected for presentation at the North American Congress on Biomechanics Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan, AstroTurf® GameDay Grass™ 3D most closely replicated natural grass in a comparison of 16 types of synthetic and natural sports turf, based on the torque, force and friction generated by cleated athletic shoes.
The study, funded by the NFL Charities Foundation, evaluated the potential impact of football playing surfaces on lower extremity injuries caused by excessive torque, or the rotational friction produced when cleated shoes dig into the field.
In the Michigan State study, the AstroTurf® GameDay Grass™ 3D system with all-rubber infill had the lowest average torque of all synthetic turf systems tested, second only to natural grass. Researchers credited the fiber structure of the AstroTurf® GameDay Grass™ 3D system, the only fiber structure containing a Root Zone® — a simulated thatch layer at the base of the system — with the low level of frictional resistance. Researchers also noted that the Root Zone® reduces the amount of infill required for a stable system and may reduce compaction of the infill layer.
For more information on the MSU Study, click here.
BASF’s Eco-Efficiency Analysis Comparing AstroTurf® and Natural Grass Athletic Fields
BASF Corporation has performed an Eco-Efficiency Analysis comparing the environmental and economical impacts of three synthetic turf athletic fields with natural grass alternatives, which differed only in their levels of usage or availability. Results of the analysis were verified by NSF International, Ann Arbor, Michigan against their Protocol, P-352, Validation and Verification of Eco-Efficiency Analyses.
“BASF’s eco-efficiency analysis is a life cycle assessment that evaluates a broad range of environmental impacts during the production, use, and disposal of a product or process in the areas of energy and resource consumption, emissions (air, water, solid waste), toxicity and risk potential, and land uses,” said Bruce Uhlman, Senior Sustainability Specialist for BASF’s Environment, Health and Safety Product Regulatory/Stewardship team in North America. “It also evaluates the life cycle costs by calculating the costs related to, at a minimum, materials, labor, manufacturing, waste disposal, and energy.”
In 11 environmental categories, AstroTurf® had a lower environmental footprint than natural grass. Factors contributing to this include reduced maintenance and mowing, which causes a variety of emissions. From an economic standpoint, over 20 years, AstroTurf® fields are 15% less expensive than natural grass fields, even when the cost of turf replacement is considered.
For more information on the BASF Eco-Efficiency Analysis, click here.
Crumb Rubber Report: Separating the Myths from the Facts
Across the nation, discarded rubber tires are being recycled and reused in innovative ways that promote safety and represent ingenuity. In as many as 50 studies conducted in state after state, on the national level, and around the world, researchers have reached the same conclusion… Crumb rubber used in artificial turf or as a playground surface poses no significant health or environmental risk.
In December 2009, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) became the latest regulatory body to draw this conclusion. Their review of crumb rubber infill used in athletic fields and playground surfaces found that concentrations of materials in tire crumb are below levels considered harmful. The EPA conducted its field study from August through October 2008 and took samples from multiple locations in different parts of the country.
Moreover, recycling old tires into useful, safe products also prevents hundreds of thousands of scrap tires from littering landfills or the countryside.
For more information on the Crumb Rubber Report, click here.