March 24, 2015
When stories broke last year about potentially unhealthy levels of lead in some artificial grass playing fields, NewGrass® synthetic lawns took the matter seriously. NewGrass® looked at its own products – had them tested – and was pleased with what they learned.
NewGrass® has always taken seriously its mission to be the artificial grass of choice when being water-wise and eco-friendly are as important as having more green lawn to enjoy year-round. Environmental responsibility was one reason that even before the lead scare NewGrass® stopped selling grass made with nylon blades. Its blades are 100% polyethylene. In addition, like New York City, NewGrass® believes it’s safer to avoid crumb rubber infill.
From the get-go, NewGrass® wanted a synthetic grass that not only conserves water and reduces lawn maintenance, but is also truly earth-friendly. For example, it wanted NewGrass® to be recyclable. The company knew that nylon was an impediment to having a truly recyclable and bio-degradable product.
That is one of the reasons NewGrass® has blades of 100% polyethylene fiber. Polyethylene is a recyclable product. NewGrass® believes polyethylene also makes a more durable and more attractive fake grass than nylon fibers.
When potentially unhealthy levels of lead dust in some artificial grass playing fields were reported by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS), the federal Centers for Disease Control issued a health advisory. The CDC did not confirm the findings. But it did expand on them.
The CDC stressed, for example, that the New Jersey study “indicated” that potentially unsafe levels of lead dust were found only in athletic fields of fake grass that are old, used frequently and exposed to the weather, because their blades break down into dust as the fibers are worn.
However, the CDC went further and issued a follow-up statement that underscored the commitment by NewGrass® to environmental responsibility and further validated its choice to use only polyethylene fibers in its artificial grass. The CDC said the New Jersey studies indicated that nylon or nylon/polyethylene blend fake grass contained “levels of lead that pose a potential public health concern.”
“We’ve always taken the responsible approach,” said NewGrass President Gregory Goehner. “It’s our mission. The fact that poly lawn is lead-safe is not why we chose it in the first place. But it’s indicative of how we do business.”
December 22, 2014
America’s children are getting increasingly less outdoor exercise, studies show. This problem, which contributes to childhood illnesses and obesity, is made worse with the approach of winter snow and ice. As the temperatures drop and snow moves in, traditional play areas of gravel, dirt and sod play simply become unusable.
The use of NewGrass® to create year-round play areas is one way families and schools from coast to coast have directly and successfully addressed the challenge of getting kids moving outside.
“We’ve had great success with NewGrass® on all kinds and sizes of play areas and in all kinds of climates and weather conditions,” says Gregory Goehner, Co-Founder of NewGrass, the artificial grass of choice when water conservation and being environmentally and eco-friendly are as important as having more green lawn to enjoy in any season.
A play area covered in NewGrass®, for example, is usable even after a snowfall, because it’s installed in a way that lets water simply drain through.
Installing NewGrass® in backyard play areas, school playgrounds and other settings is one way to act on the recommendations by Healthy Childcare.org in addressing the health, nutrition, physical activity, and safety aspects of children.
“Today’s children are four times less active in their day-to-day lives than their grandparents were,” according to the America Academy of Pediatrics. “That kind of statistic is troubling and calls for some parental intervention.”
A recent study published in the online JAMA Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine meanwhile found that nearly half of all U.S. preschoolers don’t even have one chance each day to play outdoors under a parent’s supervision.
“Preschool age children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day,” says the report’s author, Pooja Tandon, MD, MPH, of Seattle Children’s Research Institute. “But many preschoolers are not meeting that recommendation. Young children need more opportunities to play outdoors and to help them be more active.”
“NewGrass® is an eco-friendly, natural-looking and incredibly safe alternative to any other kind of surface under our play sets,” Goehner said. “It eliminates the kind of injuries a child can suffer from a fall on gravel, sand or dirt. NewGrass® is hypo-allergenic, doesn’t stain clothes and prevents dirt and mud from being tracked inside.