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Few studies have considered surface temperatures on the most recent synthetic turf products, and no empirical evidence is available on the more technologically advanced cool climate synthetic products which claim to reduce surface temperature. This article compared surface temperatures of typical third-generation synthetic turf with a cool climate product and also compared the synthetic turf products to natural grass to determine whether synthetic turf reacts differently to environmental factors and hence may increase heat-related health risks for participants. Surface temperatures were significantly associated with ambient temperature (F3,376 = 116.02, p < 0.001), relative humidity (F1,376 = 10.15, p = 0.028), and wind (F1,376 = 1.45, p = 0.004) having smaller effects. After adjustment for covariates, mean surface temperatures were significantly lower (40.79 °C) on a cool climate field compared to a typical third-generation field (44.91 °C), although both synthetic fields were considerably warmer than natural grass at the same venue (by 12.46 °C at the metropolitan venue and 22.15 °C at the regional venue). These findings provide initial insight into the potential value of cool climate products and will aid both design and development of synthetic turf products for the future.

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Journal Article

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