The FieldTurf artificial grass surface at Bobcat Stadium does not contain lead.

The FieldTurf artificial grass surface at Bobcat Stadium does not contain lead.

The issue arose after two sports fields in New Jersey were closed by the state's department of health and senior services after high levels of lead were detected in the synthetic turf.

The turf installed a year ago at Bobcat Stadium is manufactured by Mondo and has fibers made of polyethylene, which does not contain lead, Athletics Director Kathy Kinnard said.

The turfs in New Jersey are not manufactured by Mondo and have fibers made from nylon, she said.

The Synthetic Turf Council, a nonprofit organization that serves as a synthetic turf information resource, reported in a news release that the pigment used to color the nylon fiber contains lead chromate, a component that extends the yarn color lifespan.

A follow-up evaluation by the council found no scientific evidence of health risks in the New Jersey turf fields.

Nonetheless, Kinnard said she immediately contacted the local FieldTurf sales representative when she read news reports about the concerns in New Jersey.

The sales company recommended she contact Mondo.

Within a few days Mondo had responded to Kinnard and sent information confirming its turf uses color pigments that are free of lead or other toxins.

A year after its installation, the FieldTurf at Bobcat Stadium "has been a godsend," Kinnard said. "I think everybody is really pleased that we made the change" from a grass field.

The new surface and a new drainage system have eliminated the problems that previously occurred when heavy rain hit.

"This spring, when it was warm enough for the baseball team to go outside for practice and their field was still too soggy to use, they were able to do some drills and get some work in on the new turf," Kinnard said.

The durability of the turf means the field can be used more often, she said.

The design of the turf has also helped reduce the number of nagging leg pains and injuries for athletes, Kinnard said.

afroman@thisweeknews.com