Officials call on funding for study on safety of artificial turf - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Officials call on funding for study on safety of artificial turf

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Officials looking to conduct study on safety of artificial turf. (WFSB file photo) Officials looking to conduct study on safety of artificial turf. (WFSB file photo)
WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Officials are trying to  provide parents on how they can protect their children on artificial turf playgrounds.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye are joining forces with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct a federal investigation into the safety of artificial turf.

Officials said CPSC is focused on playgrounds and EPA and CDC are researching artificial turf fields.

A press release said despite a $1 million request from President Barack Obama, Congress has not yet provided any funding for CPSC to continue the study.

Turfs are becoming increasingly popular because they stay green year round and are easy to maintain.

Parents said they feel safer with their children playing on it.

"Once they skid on concrete, it's blood, tears, you name it. It's easier to deal with a fall if they fall on a harder surface," said parent Bert Machado.

However, Senator Richard Blumenthal said parts of the turf contain carcinogens and other toxic chemicals.

"Parents should take precautions to keep children safe on artificial turf playgrounds. Studies have revealed strong evidence linking crumb rubber to cancer, and parents deserve to know now whether these playgrounds and fields are safe. I commend the CPSC for playing a leading role in this vital investigation, and call on Congress to immediately provide the funding they need to continue this important work. There are basic safety measures parents should take now to keep children safe on turf playgrounds, including frequent hand washing and not eating. Parents should also be especially cautious on hot days, as turf surfaces can become dangerously hot," Blumenthal said.

Elliot Kaye of the Consumer Product Safety Commission said parents should not have to fear for their child's safety over what kinds of turf they play in.

"It's unfair that parents have to be the ones to wonder...the parents are the ones who have to grapple with these questions, 'is it safe to expose my kids to this product," said Kaye. 

Lawmakers are looking into alternative kinds of turf.

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