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Keeping It Real

And what about synthetic turf?

More NBC News coverage of the Synthetic Turf Wars in San Francisco and New Jersey. 

The Truth About Artificial vs. Natural Turf

Did you know that....

  • Ground rubber tires are used in some artificial fields, yet because of their toxic content they are prohibited from being disposed of in landfills or ocean dumping. Where will this toxic material be disposed when a replacement field becomes necessary?

  • Temperatures on artificial fields have been documented to be upwards of 86.5 degrees hotter than natural grass fields under identical conditions. How long can players of all ages be safely exposed to this level of heat?

  • Field sanitation that includes the removal of bodily fluids and/or animal droppings present a unique problem for artificial fields. Will antiseptic cleaners properly sanitize field? If so, how often?

  • Abrasive surfaces such as artificial fields can result in difficult-to-heal injuries, particularly in the presence of bacterial or viral pathogens. Are you prepared to treat these wounds properly?

  • Field hardness on artificial surfaces can result in serious chronic or immediate athletic injury? If additional ground tire rubber is periodically added to soften the field, is toxicity of the material also renewed?

  • Natural turf is preferred by 88% of NFL players, and 96% believe that artificial turf contributes to injuries.

  • Natural turfgrass saves energy. The front lawns of eight houses have the cooling effect of about 70 tons of air conditioning. That's amazing when the average home has an air conditioner with just a three or four ton capacity.

  • Green turfgrass significantly lowers fire hazard risk. How would an artificial turf field fire be fought quickly while minimizing the danger to fire fighters, and reducing the release of toxic fumes?

  • The initial price of artificial turf is many times greater than a natural turf area. Maintenance costs are equal or higher.

Think Green-Keep it Real!

For more information on "the truth" check out: 

Separating Fact from Fiction"

Temperatures of surfaces at BYU practice fields in June 2002. Average air temperature = 81.42°F

Average surface temperature between 7:00 am and 7:00 pmAverage soil temperature between 7:00 am and 7:00 PM (two inch depth)Average temperature between 9:00 am and 2:00 PM in the shade

Soccer (synthetic)117.38°F157°F95.33°F116°F

Football (synthetic)117.04°F156°F96.48°F116.75°F75.89°F99°F
Natural Turf78.19°F88.5°F80.42°F90.75°F66.35°F75°F


Bare Soil98.23°F

Source: "Synthetic Surface Heath Studies," C. Frank Williams and Gilbert E. Pulley, Sports Turf Managers Association Annual Conference, January 2004.

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