Verdict still out on artificial turf

When the Town of Riverhead was deciding what type of field to install at a new park in Calverton, officials first leaned toward synthetic turf, which would allow heavier use with lower maintenance costs than natural grass.

But questions about potential health risks from the ground-up tires that cushion the artificial turf led the board to select real grass instead. Some cities, parks and recreation departments and schools appear to choose the "better safe than sorry" philosophy of decision making when it comes to artificial turf citing the lack of available research outside those manufacturing the turf.

"There has never been a single case reported of anyone ever becoming injured or sick as a result of ingestion, inhalation or skin contact with artificial turf materials," DarrenLink Gill, director of marketing for the brand's manufacturer, FieldTurf Tarkett, said in an e-mail.

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