ABC's Artificial Turf Scare: 'Virtually a Hazardous Waste Dump'
Another network newscast and guess what â€“ something else to be afraid of.
This time, itâ€™s a â€śturf war.â€ť ABCâ€™s April 17 â€śWorld News with Charles Gibsonâ€ť took a look at dangers of athletic fields with artificial turf in â€śthe American landscapeâ€ť and warned viewers of the potential exposure to lead.
â€śItâ€™s become part of the American landscape â€“ synthetic turf, durable and soft,â€ť ABC correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi said. â€śItâ€™s everywhere, from stadiums to neighborhood soccer fields. But now, questions over whether those fields are safe. Health officials in
The reports of lead have caused alarm, even setting off an outrageous claim by one
â€śWeâ€™ve got our children playing in whatâ€™s virtually a hazardous waste dump, I think,â€ť parent Patricia Taylor said to â€śWorld News.â€ť
According to the report, the nylon in the turf breaks down overtime and then turns to dust that you can inhale or that can be ingested. It gets on your hands, or your face gets dirty.
â€śThe pigment used to color the nylon fiber contains lead chromate, a component used to extend the yarn color lifespan. Lead chromate is a highly insoluble compound with extremely low bioavailability, which is diluted, extruded with resins and microencapsulated within the nylon fiber. In fact, OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] requires no protective measures when handling the turf fibers.
Extremely low bioavailability means that even if the compound were to be ingested, it is very difficult for the compound to be absorbed within the body. There is no known evidence that this poses any health risk.â€ť
And despite the fields being called â€śa hazardous waste dump,â€ť the Synthetic Turf Council told â€śWorld Newsâ€ť there have never been any reports of ill-effects caused by turf.
â€śThe Synthetic Turf Council, which represents manufacturers, says in 40 years, not one person has ever reported ill-effects related to the material composition or the fibers,â€ť Alfonsi added. â€śThey maintain their products are safe.â€ť
ABC News was responsible for two of the nine worst business stories of the last 50 years according to an April 16 Business & Media Institute report. Those included an undercover Food Lion grocery store report broadcasted in 1992 on ABCâ€™s â€śPrimetime Liveâ€ť that crossed the lines of ethical journalism and a the infamous Wendyâ€™s report of a woman finding a severed finger in her chili in 2005 on ABCâ€™s â€śGood Morning America.â€ť