SOURCE: GeneralSports Venue/AstroTurf

April 21, 2008 17:58 ET

City of Newark to Replace Old Synthetic Turf at Ironbound With New, Lead-Free PureGrass® From AstroTurf

Test Results Detect No Airborne Contaminants or Leaching of Chemicals From Nylon Turf Being Removed

RALEIGH, NC--(Marketwire - April 21, 2008) - GeneralSports Venue (GSV), the exclusive U.S. licensee of the AstroTurf® brand, today announced that it has been awarded the contract to remove and replace the Ironbound B-Field on St. Charles Ave. in Newark, N.J.

The original field at Ironbound, manufactured and installed in 1999 by Southwest Recreational Industries, is being removed due to its age and subsequent concerns over the amount of lead chromate found in the turf fiber. The aging nylon turf field, located within an abandoned industrial complex that the EPA found was contaminated with heavy metals, prompted a limited study within the state on the safety of chemical compounds used in synthetic turf.

After meeting with a team representing AstroTurf, led by GSV Chairman and New Jersey resident Michael Dennis, the City of Newark elected to replace the Ironbound field with PureGrass®, a new AstroTurf system featuring lead-free nylon fibers. The City of Newark anticipates the new surface installation at Ironbound will be completed by May 7, followed by a ribbon cutting later in the month.

PureGrass is a non-filled, highly durable synthetic grass system which features TurfAide®, a factory-applied antimicrobial agent. TurfAide® has been standard in all AstroTurf branded synthetic turf products since 2007 and utilizes antimicrobial technology to combat a wide variety of bacteria.

"The City of Newark did their homework and looked at the best products the industry has to offer," said Michael Dennis, GSV Chairman. "While testing has supported that the composition of the old field posed no known risk to human health, the city requested that the replacement system be lead-free to eliminate any perceived concerns by its citizens. It is important to note that AstroTurf is not a type of turf, but rather a brand offering a broad range of products, including the lead-free PureGrass product selected by the City of Newark."

Removal of the original Ironbound field is nearing completion. During the removal process, the City of Newark used a pollutant testing agency to evaluate the air quality in the immediate area. Over several days, workers were monitored with respirators using filters specifically calibrated to test for lead. Test results showed no detectable levels of lead. The testing, conducted for OSHA Workplace Exposure Assessment, determined that workers required no protection for potential exposure to lead.

According to State of New Jersey Deputy Commissioner and State Epidemiologist Dr. Eddy Bresnitz, tests were conducted on the children who had been exposed to the Ironbound field and found that the lead levels in the children who had played on the field were lower or equal to levels found in children who had not been exposed to the field.

Additionally, both the City of Newark and another independent laboratory conducted leaching tests on the Ironbound turf to determine if any lead chromate was leaving the turf fibers and escaping into the environment. Both tests used EPA approved methods to analyze fibers from the old field at Ironbound, and did not detect leaching of lead. To view a copy of the results from one of the tests conducted, please go to www.astroturfusa.com. The test results support the opinions of leading chemical technology and lead toxicity experts who have reviewed the data and concluded there is no health risk associated with lead chromate in the turf fibers. Those opinions are available at www.syntheticturfcouncil.org.

GSV joins with the Synthetic Turf Council in its position that synthetic turf products are safe and present no known risks to human health or the environment. AstroTurf offers the industry's largest range of synthetic turf products with in-filled products such as GameDay Grass® XPe, MT and 3D; non-filled products such as PureGrass and AstroTurf 12®, and conversion systems such as Magic Carpet®, Fusion Turf® and Transition Turf®.

"GSV and AstroTurf are honored to have been chosen to replace the field at Ironbound with PureGrass, one of our most advanced synthetic turf products," said Jon Pritchett, CEO of GeneralSports Venue. "We thank the officials from the City of Newark for taking the time to be educated on the advantages of the innovation and technology available from AstroTurf."

About AstroTurf

AstroTurf offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies, leveraging the industry's only vertically integrated manufacturing system. The relaunch of AstroTurf, including the enlistment of football legend Archie Manning as ambassador for the brand, has positioned it as the leading innovator in the synthetic turf industry, with a growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities selecting AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority and safety. To learn more, visit www.astroturfusa.com.

About GeneralSports Venue

Based in Michigan and with executive headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., and regional offices in Richmond, Va., San Diego, San Francisco, Boston, Columbus, Portland, Philadelphia, Kansas City and New Jersey, GSV is a certified Minority Business Enterprise that offers a range of integrated services for sports venue owners, operators and developers. GSV's professional services include project development, design, estimating, finance, revenue generation, program management and construction for sports venues. Aided by its sports turf division, GSV has been among the fastest-growing companies in the sports construction industry. To learn more, visit www.generalsportsvenue.com.

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