Regarding the new Medford Sports Park having artificial turf, I read an article in the Saturday San Francisco Chronicle regarding the Consumer Product Safety Commission investigating high levels of lead in artificial turf installed across the country. Two fields in New Jersey were closed down this week because of high levels of lead. Apparently, lead has been used to maintain the color of the fake grass. Is the new turf here safe?

Regarding the new Medford Sports Park having artificial turf, I read an article in the Saturday San Francisco Chronicle regarding the Consumer Product Safety Commission investigating high levels of lead in artificial turf installed across the country. Two fields in New Jersey were closed down this week because of high levels of lead. Apparently, lead has been used to maintain the color of the fake grass. Is the new turf here safe?

— Matt, Medford

That question was on everyone's mind when the national story broke that New Jersey public health officials had found dangerous levels of lead in artificial turf, prompting an investigation by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"We contacted the manufacturer first thing Monday morning," said Medford schools facilities manager Mark Button, who was worried about the surface at Spiegelberg Stadium.

School and city officials each got reassuring letters explaining that FieldTurf brand surfaces used by the district and at the city's new park are safe. FieldTurf is made from polyethylene fiber produced by a Dutch company according to strict European standards using pigments and materials without lead or other heavy metals, the letters to customers said.

The tests in New Jersey found lead only in older nylon fiber turf produced by AstroTurf. No lead was found in 10 polyethylene surfaces tested there. According to data provided to the Medford school district, tests done on FieldTurf samples in Connecticut also found no lead.

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