AstroTurf(R) Announces Milestone Lead Content Reduction Agreement With California

DALTON, Ga., Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- AstroTurf(R) (www.astroturfusa.com) today announced its plans to adopt the industry's most highly protective standard in the country by eliminating any intentionally added lead to its synthetic turf products.

The company was already in the process of reformulating its products to eliminate intentionally added lead when it was named, along with several other synthetic turf providers, in a lawsuit by the State of California concerning product warning labels. AstroTurf(R) is the only defendant to reach a settlement to date, which will be announced by the California Attorney General's office later today. The company is providing funds to California to be used for lead testing in public use areas as well as to study the safety of synthetic turf products.

"Out of concern for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of California and all of the folks who come in contact with any of our products, we took immediate action," explains Bryan Peeples, President of AstroTurf(R). "Our products were already deemed safe by national standards. We respect the additional concerns of California, and have already eliminated any intentionally added lead. The settlement was just the natural result of us being proactive."

AstroTurf(R) and the State of California agreed to adopt a standard of lead levels not exceeding 50 parts per million, which is the most protective standard in the country. Last year the synthetic turf industry announced a voluntary lead restriction compliance program, using the guidelines proposed for children's products in H.R. 4040, where the level of lead will be reduced in all pigments used to color synthetic turf to 300 ppm or less by no later than January 1, 2010, and to 100 ppm or less by no later than January 1, 2012.

Last April, concerns about lead in synthetic turf arose when elevated levels were found in several New Jersey fields. However, those findings were factually inaccurate as the criteria for measuring lead levels in soil, which is very different than synthetic turf, were applied. On July 30, 2008, the issue was resolved when a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) evaluation of the safety of synthetic turf fields concluded that "young children are not at risk from exposure to lead in these fields." Their full statement is accessible at: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08348.html

AstroTurf(R) leads the industry in technology, research and development. While science has indicated crumb rubber, which is often used as infill in synthetic turf fields, is safe, AstroTurf(R) recognizes continued concerns around the issue. They have already designed products with nylon that helps turf grass blades stand up and perform better without infill, making AstroTurf(R) the only company to offer non-infill products. In addition, as part of the settlement, AstroTurf(R) is contributing funds for California to conduct research to address its concerns related to crumb rubber as an infill product.

Continuing to lead the way on issues of safety and performance, AstroTurf(R) recently announced its partnership with the University of Tennessee on a $1.5 million research center that focuses on the performance and safety of natural and synthetic turf fields.

About AstroTurf(R)

For many athletes and sport enthusiasts, the iconic AstroTurf(R) brand has redefined the way the game is played. The company offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies, leveraging the industry's only vertically integrated manufacturing system. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf(R)-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority and safety. The company recently debuted its astroflect(TM) Technology in its GameDay Grass(TM) systems at the St. Louis Rams' new synthetic practice field at Rams Park. To learn more, visit www.astroturfusa.com.

SOURCE AstroTurf



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