Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Michael Vineyard




There have been considerable concerns in recent years that artificial turf used in many playing fields around the world may be unsafe. While the presence of heavy metals and carcinogenic chemicals have been reported in a number of studies more data and research are needed to determine if there is a real link between artificial turf and adverse health effects. We performed PIXE and PIGE analysis of artificial turf blade and infill samples to search for heavy metals and other possibly toxic substances. The samples were bombarded with proton beams from the 1.1-MV Pelletron tandem accelerator in the Union College Ion-Beam Analysis Laboratory and the emitted X-rays and gamma- rays were measured with Si drift and CdTe detectors respectively. Some preliminary work on this project was performed using an external beam facility that we constructed from a beam pipe with an aluminum end cap supporting a 1 " diameter window made of 7.5-micron Kapton foil which allows us to analyze samples that cannot be put into the vacuum chamber. The majority of this research was done under vacuum and data was taken on 7 different colors of turf and the crumb rubber infill of the turf. Our results allowed us to conclude the composition of the pigments in the turf blades as well as the composition of the crumb rubber which contained zinc iron copper and bromine in some samples.