Calif. AG files suit against turf manufacturers

By Legal News Line | Sep 3, 2008

Jerry Brown (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)--California Attorney General Jerry Brown has filed suit against three manufacturers of artificial turf in the hopes of forcing the companies to make public the allegedly dangerous levels of lead in their products.

Brown joined officials from the city of Los Angeles City Attorney and Solano County in filing the lawsuit after testing the artificial surfaces.

"We want (the manufactures) to give more detailed information, like washing your hands after playing on these surfaces to break the chain of hand-to-mouth exposure," Deputy Attorney General Dennis Ragan was quoted by USA Today as saying.

Ragen said the attorney general's office is negotiating with the companies named in the suit, but filed in the hopes of reaching a settlement "with some teeth in it."

FieldTurf Tarkett, Astro Turf and Beaulieu of America are named in the civil suit, which alleges the company is not in compliance with Proposition 65, a law enacted 22 years ago that requires warnings where exposure to harmful chemicals is a possibility.

Legal Newsline reported in May, that the state Senate passed a bill requiring state agencies to investigate whether artificial turf might have sufficient lead levels to require a warning sign. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria.

Maldonado cited two field closures in New Jersey due to high levels of led when he passed the legislation. Following the closure, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission investigated lead levels in many playing fields, concluding in July that children are "not at risk from exposure to lead."

Regan said the lawsuit was not intended to force the companies to replace the surfaces.

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