Since the installation of the first synthetic turf field in the 1970s, there have been concerns about the safety, health, and environmental impacts of installing and playing on artificial surfaces. Infill was introduced to turf fields in the 1990s and consisted of crumb rubber (SBR-styrene butadiene rubber) and sand.
The sand and crumb rubber are added on top of the carpet and raked in between the fibers to provide footing; shock attenuation; and to hold the fibers upright, giving it a realistic grass-like appearance. This basic system has been used since for most types and brands of synthetic athletic fields. In recent years, more owners and communities have requested the use of alternative infill materials for their synthetic turf fields. This presentation will discuss the available alternatives and detail their particular pros and cons.