California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown announced on Friday that it had settled a lawsuit against the final two artificial turf companies it had sued in order to reduce children’s lead exposure in artificial turf fields.
On September 3, 2008, the Attorney General, and the Los Angeles City Attorney and the Solano County District Attorney sued three artificial turf companies – Field Turf, USA, AstroTurf, LLC and Beaulieu, LLC – for violating Proposition 65 the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 and for unlawful business practices. The complaint alleged that the defendants failed to provide clear and reasonable warnings that their artificial turf products contain lead, and that use of, and contact with, those products resulted in exposure to lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and reproductive harm.
The complaint further alleged that under Proposition 65,” businesses must provide persons with a “clear and reasonable warning” before exposing individuals to these chemicals, and accused the defendants failing to do so. The complaint also alleged that these acts constitute unlawful acts in violation of the Unfair Competition Law.
The settlement requires Georgia-based Beaulieu, LLC, the country’s largest supplier of artificial turf to retailers, and Field Turf, USA, the nation’s largest maker and installer of artificial turf fields to pay $285,000 and $212,500 in civil penalties respectively and to reformulate their products to reduce lead levels to negligible amounts.
Yesterday’s settlement requires Beaulieu and FieldTurf to change their products so that they contain less than 50 parts per million lead. Lab results found some artificial turf products with more than 5,000 parts per million, which is more than 10 times state and federal guidelines for content in children’s products.
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