SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-California Attorney General Jerry Brown was asked Monday to determine whether artificial turf fields should have lead warning signs to comply with a state law.
The request was made by state Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria.
He has introduced legislation that would have state health officials investigate the safety and environmental effects of synthetic playing fields.
The special ground cover is gaining popularity because, among other things, it requires less maintenance and water.
But the turf made of polyethylene has been found to contain low or undetectable levels of lead.
Maldonado wants to know whether the field operators must post warning signs to comply with Proposition 65, the 1986 voter-approved state law that requires public notice of the presence of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects.
"I believe that synthetic turf fields can pose a real threat to children who use these fields," Maldonado said in a statement.
For its part, the Synthetic Turf Council says the special fields are safe and pose no risk to public health.
In a statement issued Monday, the Atlanta-based trade group said reports of dangers associated with synthetic fields have not been supported by laboratory evidence.
"There is no scientific evidence of a health risk for children or adults based on recent test results and current knowledge of the chemical structure of aged synthetic turf products," said two scientists who performed an evaluation for the group.
The evaluation by a toxicologist and a chemist followed the closure of three playing fields in New Jersey amid concerns of high lead levels.
From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.