When stories broke earlier this 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.
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 early last summer 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 next day, 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.” On the other hand, the CDC reported that the same tests found that fields made with fake grass of 100% polyethylene fibers – like NewGrass® – “contained very low levels of lead.”
Within weeks, the debate over lead and artificial grass swept the nation and came to a head in California, where several synthetic grass companies were named in a class action suit by a national nonprofit consumer protection group.
Being proactive, NewGrass® asked the California attorney general’s office to test its grass. The state did and determined that NewGrass® 100% polyethylene lawn is “lead safe.”
“We’ve always taken the responsible approach,” said NewGrass President Greg 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.”