Because the potential risks associated with exposure to dust from worn artificial turf (which may contain lead) are not yet known, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following precautions be taken by parents of youth athletes, particularly those under age 6, to minimize any potential risk associated with their use
- After play, aggressive hand and body washing for at least 20 seconds using soap and warm water;
- Remove clothes worn on the field and turn them inside out as soon as possible after using the field to avoid tracking contaminated dust to other places. In vehicles, children can sit on a large towel or blanket if it is not feasible to remove their clothes. Clothes, towels, and blankets should be washed separately and shoes worn on the field should be kept outside of the home;
- Eating while on the field or turf product should be discouraged;
- Chidren should avoid drinking with containers that may be contaminated with dust and fibers from the field. When not in use, drinking containers should be closed and kept in a bag, cooler, or other covered container on the side of the field.
Lead poisoning prevention
Especially in houses where children are present, parents, day care providers and other child care providers should follow lead safety practices regardless of the type of playing surface. These practices can help prevent children from being exposed to the many sources of lead in the environment.
- Wash children's hands frequently and always before they eat.
- Do not eat food or use pacifiers that have been dropped on the floor or outside.
- Remove shoes when entering the house or use door mats.
- Have your house inspected for lead if it was built before 1978.
- Use lead-safe work practices when doing work that disturbs lead-painted surfaces.
For the CDC's health advisory, click here.
Updated September 18, 2013