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Playing fields on the level
New artificial surfaces do not have lead, manfacturers say
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Forsyth County News

The Forsyth County school system is keeping problems off its turf.

Six artificial grass companies have been named in lawsuits for reportedly failing to disclose that their products contain lead. The manufacturers include local Astroturf LLC Georgia, as well as Tiger Turf EcoAlliance and Fieldturf USA of Florida.

The list does not include Sprinturf, which installed the surface over the summer at all four of the local district's high schools.

But that was not news to the school board, said spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo, which considered the issue when making its choice.

"Prior to the board approving the new turf for the five football fields in May, we shared with them a letter from Sprinturf confirming that their product did not contain lead. We wanted to ensure the community that we had researched the product and that it was safe for our students," Caracciolo said.

"We received a new report on Friday verifying the Sprinturf on our fields is a different product than the turf involved in the lawsuits."

The turf involved in the lawsuits contained pigments with lead, capable of rubbing off on hands and feet.

Sprinturf's contract indicates it uses a rubber mixture required to be free of all toxic and metal materials. The fiber used is also nonabrasive and contains no toxic substances or heavy metals.

In response to the safety of artificial turf, Sprinturf notified its clients, including the school system, that the 100 percent polyethylene fibers used for both fields and park green surfaces are free of metal.

In a letter, Sprinturf President and CEO Stanley Greene also notes that it "takes these issues seriously, and I hope that this correspondence puts your concerns to rest."