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Susquehanna Athletic Fields Safe

Sept. 8, 2008

SELINSGROVE ( Pa. ) – A firm hired by Susquehanna University to test the safety of the college's synthetic turf fields, following reports of dangerously high levels of lead in some older synthetic fields in New Jersey, has determined that Susquehanna's fields are completely safe for athletic use.

In mid-July, Gannett Fleming Project Development Corp., an engineering firm based in Harrisburg, Pa., analyzed turf samples from the synthetic soccer and football fields for lead content and volatile organic compounds. Results showed that lead was not detected above acceptable limits, indicating that lead is not a concern with either of the fields. The results also showed no evidence of volatile organic compound (VOC) off-gassing.

Susquehanna voluntarily hired the firm after the state of New Jersey discovered dangerously high levels of lead in the surface of some older synthetic fields and subsequently closed those fields. Following the New Jersey closings, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) initiated its own investigation in April.

The CPSC announced their conclusion in late July that the newer fields it had tested generally had no lead or very low levels of lead. Although small amounts of lead were detected on the surface of some older fields, none of the tested fields released amounts of lead that would be considered harmful. Susquehanna's synthetic football and soccer/multisport fields were installed in 2001 and 2003, respectively.

Although the CPSC evaluation found no harmful lead levels, it recommended that voluntary standards be developed for synthetic turf to preclude the possibility of any issues in future production Susquehanna officials will monitor the development of such standards.

Concerned citizens and parents of athletes are welcome to view the test results. Contact Director of Facilities Management Dave Henry at 570-372-4149 for more information or to view the reports.

Contact: Gerald Cohen
570-372-4119

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