More home owners who are sick and tired of mowing the grass are trading their natural turf for artificial.

The artificial turf industry has grown an estimated 20 percent annually for the last five years, according to figures from the Association of Synthetic Grass Installers trade group

Commonly used fibers for artificial turf include polyethylene and polypropylene with granulated tire rubber as an infill. Granulated quartz is an alternative.

A lawsuit in California alleges that synthetic turf has high levels of lead. Darren Brandt, a spokesman for manufacturer FieldTurf, says the product has been proven safe in several studies.

Annie Costa, executive director of the grass installers trade group, says artificial turf will win favor because it is cost effective - about $9 to $12 a square yard, guaranteed for eight years.

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune, Emmet Piercce (06/28/2009)