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The Associated Press July 16, 2010, 5:41PM ET

Calif. reaches settlement to remove lead from turf

California reached a legal settlement Friday with two artificial turf companies that officials said would help eliminate nearly all lead in products used on playing fields at schools and parks.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown said turf supplier Beaulieu LLC and manufacturer FieldTurf USA agreed to change products to reduce lead to safe amounts.

The cases were filed in 2008 after testing by Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health found lead levels in the companies' turf were more than 10 times higher than allowed under state and federal guidelines for children's products.

The Centers for Disease Control has warned that aging turf can release lead in dust which can easily be inhaled or ingested by kids playing on it.

Lead in high amounts can affect nervous system development in children and create learning and behavioral disorders.

Under the settlement, FieldTurf agreed to put in new fields at a discount for turf installed before November 2003.

Beaulieu agreed to pay for lead tests at daycare centers, schools and playgrounds that have turf bought after October 2004 and in place for at least three years.

Last year, AstroTurf agreed to legal limits on lead in its turf, starting last month.

These companies have also agreed to pay almost $500,000 to help fund studies and reimburse state costs.

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