Artificial grass can become contaminated after a few years’ use with enough lead to poison children, scientists have warned.
A new study has raised fears for the health of millions of children who use synthetic surfaces worldwide for sports or play, prompting calls for “urgent checks” in the UK.
There are thousands of football, hockey and tennis surfaces made from synthetic turf across the UK. According to sportscotland, there are 232 full-size synthetic playing pitches in Scotland.
US health researchers have discovered that after two to four years or more of wear and tear, some artificial grass can begin to release lead dust. This has caused playing fields in the US being closed down because they were regarded as hazardous.
Lead, a heavy metal, has long been recognised as a potential health danger, and was eliminated from petrol and paint 20 years ago. If it gets into the body, it can cause brain damage, as well as heart disease and cancer.