The Loop

Golf balls: An environmental hazard?

November 10, 2009

CNN is reporting that the Danish Golf Union is looking into the impact lost or discarded golf balls have on the environment and it isn't necessarily pretty.

"UK lawmaker Patrick Harvie told CNN: 'From the moon to the bottom of Loch Ness, golf balls are humanity's signature litter in the most inaccessible locations,' CNN noted on its website.

"It was found that during decomposition, the golf balls dissolved to release a high quantity of heavy metals. Dangerous levels of zinc were found in the synthetic rubber filling used in solid core golf balls. When submerged in water, the zinc attached itself to the ground sediment and poisoned the surrounding flora and fauna."

Golf balls take from 100 to 1,000 years to decompose naturally, according to the Danish Golf Union, and when you consider that 300 million balls are lost or discarded each year you have an idea of the scope of the problem, the article noted.

-- John Strege