PEER, April 28, 2015
EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE:
Washington, DC —The principal information the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission uses to assess the health effects of synthetic turf is supplied by industry lobbyists, according to internal records released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Emails and other records obtained by PEER in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit detail how these lobbyists are allowed closed-door briefings and other direct contacts with key CPSC staff assigned to investigate their products.
The thousand plus pages that CPSC has released in response to that suit do not provide an answer as to the outcome of the enforcement review but do reveal the extent of the agency’s reliance on industry:
CPSC possesses no independent information on toxicity of synthetic playgrounds. The only agency sampling has been for lead but it has taken no action when unsafe lead levels are found;
After media reports of soccer goalies who have played for years on artificial turf contracting non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas at an alarming rate, CPSC was briefed on the issue by the vice-president for marketing of a leading manufacturer; and
Industry representations to CPSC on voluntary standards to address chemical exposure of children in contact with these surfaces are exaggerated or untrue.