OEHHA Announces Public Workshops to Get Input for New Study of Health Impacts of Synthetic Turf Fields


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SACRAMENTO – State officials will hold three public workshops in both Northern and Southern California and conduct an interactive webinar to discuss plans and solicit input for an upcoming study of the potential health impacts of synthetic turf fields and playground mats.

Athletes of all ages, parents, and other interested residents are invited to attend the workshops to learn more about the study and provide input.

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) will conduct the workshops and the study in cooperation with the state Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). Both departments are part of the California Environmental Protection Agency.

“We want as many people as possible to join us and provide suggestions,” said Lauren Zeise, Ph.D., acting Director of OEHHA. “Public input on the various aspects of the study, particularly the ways people might be exposed to chemicals when they use synthetic turf fields and playground mats, will help us design and conduct the best possible study.”

The first workshop will be in Berkeley on November 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Berkeley High School’s Building ‘M’ Gym, 1980 Allston Way. The second workshop will be in San Diego on November 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Creative Performing Media Arts School’s Black Box Hall, 5050 Conrad Avenue. The third workshop will be in Los Angeles on December 3 from 6 to 8 p.m., at Los Angeles Valley College’s Monarch Auditorium, 5800 Fulton Avenue in Valley Glen.

OEHHA will also conduct an interactive webinar about the project on November 16, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. OEHHA in the next several weeks will post information on the webinar on its website and send information out to individuals who register for its listserv (see below).

“CalRecycle’s highest priority is, and always will be, protecting human health and safety,” said CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline. “We are dedicated to furthering scientific study of this issue and encourage the public to join OEHHA scientists at these workshops.”

OEHHA will conduct the study under an interagency agreement with CalRecycle. The new research will build on two earlier studies of synthetic turf that OEHHA conducted with support from CalRecycle.

OEHHA is the primary state entity for the assessment of risks posed by chemical contaminants in the environment. Its mission is to protect and enhance public health and the environment by scientific evaluation of risks posed by hazardous substances.

To submit comments or questions about the project, please send emails to SyntheticTurf@oehha.ca.gov.

To follow the progress of the study and be notified of future meetings and workshops, please register for the OEHHA Synthetic Turf Listserv.


Image of synthetic turf and crumb rubber products