Synthetic Turf (Polyolefin fibers, tufted backing)
This information reflects our best understanding of product composition in 2020.
Synthetic turf can be used as a replacement for natural grass for landscaping and athletic field surfaces. Its composition is similar to that of carpet. The artificial grass fibers are generally made from polyethylene, polypropylene, or nylon....
More about Synthetic Turf (Polyolefin fibers, tufted backing)
Synthetic turf can be used as a replacement for natural grass for landscaping and athletic field surfaces. Its composition is similar to that of carpet. The artificial grass fibers are generally made from polyethylene, polypropylene, or nylon. Depending on the application, the fibers may be single blades (monofilament) that stand up straight, slit film (extruded flat strands that are sliced to form a honeycomb-like fiber), or a combination of both types. The fibers are either woven into or tufted through a mesh fabric backing. In the tufted method, fibers are secured in place with a secondary backing, or coating. Depending on performance requirements, additional backing layers can be applied to the secondary backing, but these are beyond the scope of this Common Product (CP). The secondary backing may have holes punched into it to allow for water drainage (perforated) or it may be composed of a woven geotextile backing that is melted onto the primary backing (non-perforated). This CP covers products intended for use in athletic fields with a perforated backing.
Additional components may be added to the turf, such as a fiberglass scrim to reduce stretching, or creep, and shock absorbing underlayments. Though not covered by this CP, each additional component has potential to introduce additional hazards. Athletic fields also have a base system composed of materials such as crushed aggregate and a drainage system. These systems will vary depending on native soil conditions and are beyond the scope of this CP. Synthetic turf typically requires the use of infill materials, which are small granules that are added on top of the backing to keep the fibers upright and provide cushioning. These are generally made from tire-derived crumb rubber, EPDM, thermoplastic elastomer, sand, zeolites, organic materials, or combinations of these materials. Although the different types of infill are beyond the scope of this CP, they are covered in other CPs.
Synthetic turf panel seams are either glued or sewn together, or they may be attached using hook and loop fasteners. Adhesives may add additional hazards that are not covered by this CP. Likewise, this CP does not consider any treatments that are applied to the turf, which could add additional hazards. For example, optional biocide treatments are available to protect against mold, mildew, or algae. Outdoor surfaces would likely not require such a coating because exposure to sunlight would likely be sufficient to kill these microorganisms. None of the sources indicated that a stain resistant treatment was applied to the fibers, similar to the PFAS treatment typically seen in carpets, although one source sampled turf fiber and identified the presence of PFAS. PFAS can be used as an anti-stick agent in equipment used in the extrusion process for the fibers, so some residual PFAS may be present in turf fibers as a result.