California has sued three top turf-makers, claiming they are deliberately hiding the fact that their products contain lead, the Los Angeles Times reports. State law requires labeling of products containing the metal, which gives a "natural" green color to fake grass. Lead can cause cancer, birth defects, and damage to reproductive systems when absorbed through the skin or mouth.
Lead is almost harmless in new turf, but it gets dangerous—at more than 20 times the legal limit—as it ages. "This is 2008. Why are you making something with lead?" a deputy attorney general asks. The state hopes the suit will force the companies to stop using it.