Monday, December 7, 2009

Norwegian Water Quality Study shows toxic runoff from artificial turf

This study, from the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, shows that artificial turf fields leach toxic chemicals, especially zinc, into local water resources. Link to study:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Turf Questions from a Soccer Mom

This video sums up the key issues and risks of artificial turf:
NY DEC + DOH validates much of the health risks contained in this video. To read the report, go to: mental/outdoors/synthetic_turf /crumb-rubber_infilled/fact_sh eet.htm

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Synthetic Turf Field Fails Early, Despite Only Half the Expected Usage; Replacement to Cost over $450,000

Mercer Island, Washington: The high school's 7-year old artificial turf field wears out early, failing tests for resiliency. Adding 16,000 lbs of rubber pellets fail to solve the problem. Replacement will cost upward of $450,000, even with a 20% discount because the field is still under warranty.
A 2007 report shows that MIHS sports filled up 62 percent of the actual time that Islander Stadium was used, totaling 1,161 hours. In comparison, community club sports made up 20 percent of the field’s availability, for a total of 701 hours of use in 2007.
A 2004 study predicted that non-district sports clubs would use nearly five times that amount at 3,262 hours.
“The 3,000 hours don’t exist,” said School Board member John DeVleming during an Aug. 13 board meeting. “The estimate of revenue the city is expecting is not based on real numbers.”

Monday, August 24, 2009

San Francisco Supervisor moves to stop conversion of parks to synthetic

Effort to stop artificial turf growth
By: Joshua Sabatini08/19/09 9:00 AM PDT
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi introduced a resolution requesting that the Recreation and Park Department forget about converting playing fields from natural turf to artificial surfaces.
Mirkarimi said the department plans to install the turf at Kimball Park “soon,” and wants to ensure that doesn’t happen there or anywhere for a while, if at all.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions about the conversion of the normal park ground to the artificial turf and the synthetic turf,” Mirkarimi said Tuesday.
He said he wants more community process, and also the resolution states no artificial turfs should be installed until the release “of a report by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment on the health and environmental impacts of synthetic turf fields.” That report is due out September 2010.
The resolution was co-sponsored by Supervisor John Avalos.
The resolution says: “There are several scientific studies pointing out toxic substances including heavy metals and volatile airborne corrosives associated with these synthetic turfs, the ingestion of only ten grams of which is considered seriously, irrevocably carcinogenic.”

Monday, June 8, 2009

US soccer coach Bradley calls on FIFA to outlaw artificial turf

CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. soccer coach Bob Bradley called on FIFA to outlaw artificial turf following his team's 3-1 loss to Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying this week at Saprissa Stadium.
Bradley was asked about the surface after his team defeated Honduras 2-1 Saturday night -- back on the grass at Soldier Field.
"We never make excuses, all right, so when we play poorly in Costa Rica, we look at ourselves," Bradley said.
Then he went on and said soccer's governing body should address the subject.
"The field is terrible, and FIFA should not allow artificial surfaces. They should have some courage. They should stop it," Bradley said. "It's no good for the players, and somehow I hope the players have the ability around the world to stand up and say we're not playing on this, plain and simple." USA Today, click here.

Safety of Shredded Tires in Playgrounds Under Question

— EPA Endorsed Use without Analyzing Toxic Potential but Belated Studies in Limbo
Source: Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
Washington, DC — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is having second thoughts about the safety of shredded tires as fill in playgrounds, according to agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). EPA admits that it does not know the extent of childhood exposure from ingestion or inhalation of an array of toxic chemicals found within tires.
Every year millions of pounds of tires are recycled into ground rubber, (called “tire crumb”) and placed on playgrounds to reduce injuries from falls. Both EPA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have endorsed the use of tire crumb for years but neither agency ever investigated the potential toxicity to children from direct contact with tire ingredients, such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury and a number of dangerous hydrocarbons. Despite these huge knowledge gaps, both agencies still endorse use of tire crumb, which is increasingly being marketed for backyard use.
Documents obtained by PEER under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that –
EPA lacks the information to “assess toxicological risks of tire crumb in situations where children are exposed” but has recommended tire crumbs for public recreational use since 1991;
Agencies are issuing contradictory advice to consumers. In June 2008, for example, the Centers for Disease Control issued an advisory for potential lead exposure from artificial turf, while weeks later, CPSC issued a press release downplaying the lead risk based on very limited testing; and
EPA plans to conduct its first field monitoring studies but admits that these limited tests will leave many questions unanswered.
“Kids roll around in this stuff, put it into their mouths and rub it into their skin and hair,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, pointing out that tire crumbs are often painted in bright colors enticing to very young children. “Despite the growing concerns of its own scientists, EPA has issued no public statement of caution and still promotes tire crumbs in playgrounds.”
Significantly, EPA has refused to release documents to PEER describing the status of the agency’s proposed field studies, which the agency had described as very limited and not representative of “tire crumb sources [or] turf field types”. Nor has EPA scheduled a proposed workshop with states and other relevant federal agencies to coordinate research and health monitoring. “In essence, EPA is burying its head in the tire crumbs,” Ruch added, noting that states have fruitlessly asked EPA for guidance. “This is yet another instance where EPA has mindlessly embraced a supposed ‘win-win’ solution for a solid waste problem without considering potential side effects.”
PEER is asking EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to 1) revoke her agency’s endorsement of tire crumb until the research has concluded that it is safe for children; 2) issue an interim public health advisory; and 3) outline a coordinated approach, working with other agencies, for assessing risk. If Ms. Jackson does not respond, PEER will ask the appropriations panels handling the EPA budget to mandate these actions.
Read the 2008 warning memo on “Potential Risks of Tire Crumbs” from EPA Region 8
View the June 2008 EPA PowerPoint presentation summarizing issues
See the July 2008 EPA draft talking points to answer public and press inquiries
Look at the weaknesses and limitations in EPA’s planned testing
Peruse PEER letter to Lisa Jackson

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Synthetic turf fields kicking up safety concerns

Health experts, activists and parents from Seattle to Chicago to Stamford, Mass. are worried that children may be exposed to chemicals if they inhale or swallow synthetic turf's rubber granules, known as crumb rubber. Some are calling for a moratorium until the issue is more fully studied.
"Rubber tires are made with chemicals that are known carcinogens. The question remains, does that raise the risk for cancer for children? We don't know that," said Dr. Susan Buchanan, associate director of Great Lakes Center for Children's Environmental Health and an assistant professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Read full story. Click here.

Artificial turf creates maintenance headaches

The explosion in artificial turf has created a whole new set of problems for maintenance crews trained in turfgrass -- including the possibility that artificial turf may harbor and transmit drug-resistant staph infections, or MRSA. From hand-held brooms to riding scrubbers, the maintenance requirements for artificial turf can be both varied and expensive. This article recommends that sports field managers be trained in upkeep and sanitization methods of synthetic turf, as well as be part of the decision-making process of switching turfs.
Click here.

Turf Fields: Playing with Kids' Health

Lead is an incredibly pervasive and widespread poison, and there is no known safe level. According to estimates made by Dr. Philip Landrigan, a leading expert at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, we all lost an average of five IQ points if we grew up in postwar America before lead was removed from gasoline. That’s a huge number. And because IQ follows a normal distribution curve, if you look at the very bright cohort above 130 or the challenged cohort below 70, they are decreased and increased by about 50 percent, respectively. This is such a huge effect it could well account for any loss of American competitiveness in the last 50 years. And the rise in special education needs. Or, if you are on the bright side of the curve, it could account for your failure to win that Nobel prize.

This is not a possible, or a future, or a potential effect. It is measurable right here and now. And the effects are permanent. Once poisoned, always dumber. No wonder the federal regulators make such a big deal of it.

And there is lead in most artificial turf athletic fields. It’s been confirmed by private citizens and The Boston Globe in Sudbury and Wayland, along with a number of other towns. Read full story by Tom Sciacca and Guive Mirfendereski, Click here.

Danger Underfoot?

Lead continues to be a dangerous component of synthetic turf.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission recognizes 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of
blood as a level of concern. But researchers are concerned that levels as low as 2 micrograms
of lead per deciliter of blood could be a problem.
A study in the peer-reviewed Environmental Health Perspectives in February showed that
children's intellectual functioning at 6 years of age is impaired by blood-lead concentrations
well below 10 micrograms per deciliter. See story in Oregon's Statesman Journal, click here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Citizens Group Files Suit Against San Carlos City Council

The Save San Carlos Parks community group filed suit yesterday in San Mateo Superior Court against the City of San Carlos, challenging the City’s inadequate environmental review of its decision to convert Highlands Park from natural grass to synthetic turf.

“No one wants to go to court over this issue. We proposed a settlement conference to try to find a compromise, but unfortunately the City declined that offer. That left us no choice,” said Greg Harris, a member of Save San Carlos Parks. “In their rush to move forward they have failed to consider the significant adverse impacts on the community.”

Save San Carlos Parks says that a legally adequate environmental review will, among other things, do at least four things:

Evaluate alternative surfaces and compare their impacts or benefits to the City’s synthetic turf proposal.
Analyze the health impact of synthetic turf and crumb rubber on young children.
Address community concerns over the required infrastructure to support the increased traffic and parking.
Analyze the City’s economic viability to support this park over the long run.

Despite facing a $2.7 million budget deficit in the next fiscal year, the City approved a plan to move forward on a field project that will ultimately cost the City $3.7 million.

“Preparation of the required environmental impact report will reveal that this project will exhaust the City’s capital improvement funds for our parks and leave the City unable to maintain this field over the next ten years,” said Daniele Huerta, a member of the Save San Carlos Parks organization. “This project benefits the competitive year-round soccer players in San Carlos, but it would mean the City has no money for the rest of the community.”

Friday, May 8, 2009

"Toxic Turf" airs on CBS-5

Watch Jeffrey Schaub's report on the hazards of synthetic turf, and why California lawmakers are questioning its safety.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Children's Environmental Health Experts at Mount Sinai Medical School Warn Cal-EPA of Dangers of Synthetic Turf

This letter dated March 5, 2009 is long, but needs to be posted:

Dear Deputy Director Delson,
Re: Health hazards of synthetic turf fields
Over the past five years, several hundred artificial turf fields have been installed on the East Coast. Cities, towns and school districts installed these fields in an effort to improve the quality of playing fields and to accommodate everexpanding sports programs. The newest generation of these fields have been constructed of a material termed “crumb rubber”, which is made from ground up car and truck tires.
The Clinical Center of Excellence in Children’s Environmental Health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York has received numerous phone calls from parents and physicians concerned about potential hazards to children’s health associated with the wide-scale use on school grounds and in parks properties made of crumb rubber. This has prompted the Center to undertake a detailed assessment of the risks and benefits of artificial fields. The findings we present today are the result of this evaluation.
Our most global finding was that decisions to install synthetic turf fields were for the most part made with very little due diligence. A number of these very expensive fields were installed with little or no consideration of possible negative effects. Now, we are suddenly, and belatedly, beginning to realize that synthetic turf fields may, in fact, be associated with health problems in children.
The most important of the health hazards that we identified through our study are:
1. Extreme heat. On hot summer days, temperatures of over 130 degrees Fahrenheit have been recorded a few feet above the surface of synthetic turf fields – precisely at the altitude where children play. Vigorous play in these conditions conveys a very real risk of heat stress or heat stroke.
2. MRSA skin infections. Outbreaks of skin infections caused by methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have been documented in children who play on synthetic turf fields (reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, February 2005).
3. Inhalation and ingestion of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. The major chemical components of crumb rubber are styrene and butadiene, the principal ingredients of the synthetic rubber used for tires in the United States. Styrene is neurotoxic. Butadiene is a proven human carcinogen. It has been shown to cause leukemia and lymphoma. The crumb rubber pellets that go into synthetic turf fields also contain lead, cadmium and other metals. Some of these metals are included in tires during manufacture, and others picked up by tires as they roll
down the nation’s streets and highways. There is a potential for all of these toxins to be inhaled, absorbed through the skin and even swallowed by children who play on synthetic turf fields.
Lead was recently found in synthetic turf fields in New Jersey at levels so high that several fields were closed by the state Health Department. This is extremely alarming since lead is a highly toxic chemical and brain injury is the most serious consequence of pediatric lead poisoning. Young children are especially vulnerable to lead because their brains are rapidly growing and developing, and because their normal hand-to-mouth behavior increases the risk that they will take lead into their bodies from the environment. Even low-dose exposure to lead can possibly cause loss of IQ, shortening of attention span and disruption of behavior as well as increased risk of dyslexia and school failure.
4. Transportation home of crumb rubber pellets. Crumb rubber pellets do not remain on the artificial turf fields. These pellets are picked on children’s shoes, clothing and skin. They are then tracked into children’s homes and cars, and they are carried into the places where children live, play, eat and sleep. Thus exposure can continue for many hours beyond the time that a child spends in play on the synthetic turf field.
5. Escape of chemical hazards from fields to the environment. A number of the toxic and chemical components of the crumb rubber that is installed in synthetic fields are soluble in water. When rain and snow fall on synthetic fields, these materials can leach from the fields to contaminate ground water and soil.
6. Disposal. A further unresolved issue is what to do with the toxic components of synthetic turf fields 10 or 20 years from now when the fields reach the end of their usable life-span and need to be dismantled. Will the crumb rubber need to be dealt with as hazardous waste, since it contains toxins and carcinogens? Will it need to be placed in a hazardous waste landfill? What will disposal cost? Who will pay? None of those questions have been properly considered.
The potential long-term consequences of exposures to synthetic turf fields have not been carefully assessed by independent third parties before synthetic turf fields were installed. Citizens and school boards should question the wisdom of installing synthetic turf until a credible independent study has been conducted and published.
For these reasons, we recommend to carefully weigh the risks and benefits of artificial turf prior to wide scale implementation. Due diligence is critical. We must protect, increase and upgrade the limited number of natural grass fields currently available to our children. We would be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have.

Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc
Project Chief, Chairman, Department of Community and Preventive Medicine
Maida Galvez, MD, MPH
PEHSU Director, Assistant Professor in Community and Preventive Medicine
Joel Forman, MD
Associate Professor in Pediatrics and Community and Preventive Medicine
CC: Dennis Ragen
Assistant Attorney General, State of California

San Mateo Daily Journal spotlights turf battle

Citizens in San Carlos are collecting petition signatures and directly asking city leaders to rethink use of a material they say is dangerous, expensive and unnecessary. Resident Mike Ahern asks them to reconsider based on new information, including health studies which suggest washing clothes worn during play on the fields to be washed separately to avoid potential toxic contamination.
“Can you imagine the frustration that San Carlos parents will experience when faced with this recommendation and/or when parents find cut tire bits have ruined their other clothes? What about the wasted water of all this extra washing?” Read more here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Artificial Turf Companies Successfully Lobbied CPSC to Not Classify Turf as a "Children's Product"

The Synthetic Turf Council and FieldTurfTarkett successfully lobbied the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) last May to make sure that their product, artificial turf, became excluded from the testing that is required of all products having to do with children: the requirement to get tested for lead levels.
Transcript of the meeting:
Days after that meeting, May 15, 2008, we read a letter from Mr. Doyle, President of the Synthetic Turf Council, to CPSC Commissioner Moore, which reads in part,“We are particularly appreciative of your admonition to ensure that our product does not become categorized as a "children's product" within the meaning of eventual conference agreement on H.R. 4040. We have taken your comments to heart and are in the process of communicating our concerns to members of the conference committee.”
Why did the artificial turf industry work so hard to avoid being labeled a ‘children’s product?’ If artificial turf were to be classified as a ‘children’s product,’ lead levels would have to meet stringent standards. Turf samples would be required to be tested to verify that they met the standards. The testing would have to be conducted at independent CPSC-certified labs. Now that will not happen. Full story, click here.
So this means that synthetic turf is not suitable for children, right?

Lead from artificial turf rubber granules can be absorbed by gastric fluids

The recent University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-School of Public Health study found that, “when children or athletes ingest the tiny rubber granules in synthetic turf, it is likely that a significant portion of the lead in the granules will be absorbed by their bodies’ gastric fluids.”
Focusing on the ‘new’ generation of artificial turf, the turf made of tire crumbs, this study was lead by Dr. Junfeng Zhang, associate dean and professor of environmental and occupational health at the UMDNJ-School of Public Health. The study examined lead levels in rubber granules from four parks in NYC, and simulated digestive tract absorption in two of the samples. The result? Even though the samples had relatively low concentrations of lead in the rubber granules, substantial amounts of lead were absorbed into synthetic gastric juices. And, as you know, health professionals know that even the tiniest amount of lead in the system will affect the health and cognitive ability of children. The findings appeared in the November/December 2008 issue of the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.
So, when your older child brings home those tire crumbs, your younger children at home will be able to ingest them too. Click here.

Artificial Turf: Heat Islands

Hot enough for you? Well, get ready for summer, because as our natural grass playing fields are replaced with artificial turf, the temperatures will be rising. Why?
Because artificial turf fields are well known for their great ability to trap heat, unlike natural sod, which actually cools our planet, and our neighborhoods. Artificial turf creates ‘heat islands’ with temperatures of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. But don’t take my word for it; here’s what Dr. Stuart Gaffin, a professor at Columbia University has found out in his studies. Gaffin, an Associate Research Scientist at that university’s Center for Climate Systems Research, initially began his studies researching how trees and parks cool the city. In his research he noticed an odd phenomenon; heat islands, which he initially assumed were caused by large buildings. He looked further, and lo and behold, the ‘heat islands’ were caused by artificial turf.

NASA Satellite Photo, August 14, 2002, New York City, shows heat islands, the red squares at left. What caused them? The photo on the right shows the lower left to be a building and rooftop. And to the right? You guessed it,an artificial turf playing field. Thanks to our Parks Master Plan, if your County Council members vote to put artificial turf at Highlands Park, soon nearly ALL the natural sod playing fields in our public parks will be replaced with artificial turf.

So crank up the A/C folks, it’s going to be a long, hot summer.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chemical Commonly Used In Rubber Product Manufacture May Cause Cancer

A chemical commonly used in the manufacture of rubber products may cause cancer in workers regularly exposed to it, suggests research published ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Medical News Today, Click here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

San Carlos Youth Advisory Council Votes Against the Installation of Synthetic Turf

March 11, 2009, San Carlos, CA—In its first consideration of the controversial synthetic turf issue, the San Carlos Youth Advisory Council, a body that represents middle school and high-school age children in the city, voted against replacing the Highlands Park surface with artificial turf.

The nationally recognized San Carlos Youth Advisory Council is appointed by the City Council as an advisory board. The Youth Council voted 5 to 4 Wednesday night to recommend that the City Council not install synthetic turf at Highlands Park.

“This one project would exhaust the city’s capital improvement funds for all the parks, youth center, and senior center,” said Kevin Harris, San Carlos Youth Advisory member who voted with the majority. “Highlands Park is in better condition than virtually any other field in the city. I think the Youth Advisory Council would like to see the money spent on less expensive projects that have a broader benefit to the community.”

"The myth for the past six years in this city is that this project is for the kids,” said Daniele Huerta a resident of San Carlos and member of “Save San Carlos Parks.” “Well, the kids have spoken, and I hope the politicians who appointed them will listen. At a cost of at least $1.5M, coupled with environmental and health concerns, synthetic turf benefits only a small handful of year round athletes. In these times of tight budgetary constraints, synthetic turf is not in the city's overall best interest."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Synthetic Fields Require Irrigation Too

Artificial turf runs tens of degrees hotter than natural grass. Artificial turf takes maintenance, which includes application of antimicrobial agents and cleansers to the surface. So much for the promise of the “low cost” turf! Many of us also have know for a while that while the plastic flower in a vase does not require watering, artificial turf fields do! Water cools the surface, cuts down on silica and other dust, and washes out the harmful bacteria and other nasty stuff that gets left behind by man and beast. A recent TV news story by KUSI-TV (San Diego) highlights the issue. Click here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

National Public Radio Airs "Playing With Lead"

Station KQED today aired a story, "Playing with Lead," exploring the high lead levels in many synthetic turf fields, and the cumulative effects of lead exposure on the central nervous system and brain development of children.

Experts Weigh in on Potential Dangers of Artificial Turf Fields

Burn injuries that have increased risk of infection, exposure to a myriad of toxins in the crumb rubber that are then carried off the field and into homes with small children are causing parents to worry about the wide scale use of synthetic turf fields. Click here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Organic Fields Pay Off

With safety of Branford, CT's young athletes as its top priority, Parks Director Alex Palluzzi Jr. and his dedicated staff have found a way to save tax dollars, reduce toxic run-off, and still provide a place for tackling, catching, and romping for kids of all ages.
The Parks Department has been focusing on an organic maintenance program that saw immediate benefits in cost, reduced pesticide use, and keeping the fields thicker, fuller, and safer. Not only is the department fine-tuning the organic experiment, it’s also keeping the heavily used parcels in shape, which is no easy task.
“These are all purpose fields; they are in constant use by every sport. They need constant work,” said Palluzzi. “That is why the organics has been such a benefit. It has really had a dramatic difference in our ability to keep the fields safe. (The Sound, click here)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Burlingame synthetic turf field needs early replacement

San Mateo Daily Journal reports that the San Mateo Union High School District is already looking at replacing the Burlingame High School artificial surface, which was installed only eight years ago. Normally rated at 10 to 12 years, McManus said the heavy traffic — from football to soccer to lacrosse — has worn out the carpet prematurely. Click here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

State launches study to determine safety of artificial turf fields

Several state agencies are participating in the $245,000 study that will consider everything from the chemicals the synthetic playing surfaces release into the air and groundwater, to the effects on players of direct contact with the crumb rubber pellets they shed.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is coordinating the study and will release a health risk assessment of artificial turf next January.
Previous studies by federal agencies and private testing labs have concentrated on the lead content of the synthetic grass, particularly in the older surfaces, said state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Dennis Schain.
"This will be far-ranging,'' he said. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station will look at what chemicals might leach into the soil from the synthetic surfaces, while the DEP will consider stormwater runoff issues. Connecticut Post, click here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Synthetic Turf Wearing Out Early

Sunday, January 11, 2009
Pine-Richland's stadium has been used so much since it opened in 2001 that its artificial turf is wearing out.
The cost of replacing it -- which could be $300,000 to $400,000 or more -- was the topic of discussion Tuesday at Pine-Richland school board's planning meeting. No action was taken as board members debated how the cost fit in with the district's capital improvements plan and the 2009-10 operating budget.
Superintendent James C. Manley said the artificial turf has become rippled and worn to the point that it is a safety concern. He noted that a rubberized mat and drainage system beneath the turf would not need to be replaced.
The turf had a 10-year warranty for "normal" use, but the field is heavily used for a variety of sports and activities, including football, lacrosse, physical education classes, graduation and band, Director Kevin Nigh said. The company with which the school had a 10-year warranty is out of business now, he added. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, click here.

San Jose Unified votes against plans for synthetic turf field at Trace Elementary School

(Redwood City) After hearing from dozens of parents concerned that synthetic turf may contain harmful toxins and can be too hot for children to play on, San Jose Unified trustees voted Thursday evening against plans to replace the current grass field at Trace Elementary School with synthetic turf.
"After much deliberation, I've decided not to approve it," said Garcia, who represents Trace and the Rose Garden neighborhood. "So much of my community is against it at this time."
The grass-roots victory left Trace parents jubilant. For months, they have been meeting at Starbucks, researching turf safety studies online, lobbying board members and putting together a "Parents for Real Grass" Web site, Mercury News, click here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

In fake grass, some see real threat
For two decades, state public health officials have waged a massive campaign to eliminate children's exposure to lead, yet some specialists are concerned that the toxic element may have found its way into schools in the form of artificial turf fields.While industry officials maintain the fields are safe, the Boston Globe recently commissioned tests of artificial grass at several city and suburban high schools in Massachusetts and found varying amounts of lead in the artificial surfaces. Click here.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

San Carlos City Council to Vote on Artificial Turf
Please speak out against artificial turf at the San Carlos City Council meeting Monday January 12, at 7pm in council chambers. Write the council members now to make your voice heard (see Things You Can Do sidebar on right for email addresses). Given the evidence of toxic exposure, the lawsuit filed by the State of California's Attorney General, and the current financial crisis, going forward with a plastic field is irresponsible and reckless.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hidden Hazards • State agencies agree to take a close look at the health and environmental issues of "crumb rubber"

Get The Dirt On Fake Grass
January 12, 2009
For years, the federal government has tended to dismiss concerns about the health and environmental issues raised by artificial turf. We're hopeful a recently announced joint study involving four Connecticut agencies will bring long-needed focus and light to the subject. Last summer, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a report examining the potential health threat from the pigment that gives artificial turf its everlasting green. Tests revealed the presence of lead (a nerve toxin) on some turf, but the study concludes "consumers should not be concerned about using these fields."But lead is only one concern. Artificial turf uses "crumb rubber" from shredded tires for its cushioning effect and to hold the "grass" upright. The rubber is also sold as mulch. A study by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station last year found summer temperatures cause the rubber to release vapors, including one that's a known carcinogen. Other chemicals have been linked to asthma, eye and skin irritations. The state study also found that heavy metals — lead, zinc, cadmium and selenium — can leach from the rubber into water.
The new state-sponsored study will involve the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Public Health, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and the University of Connecticut Health Center. The health department will issue a full health risk assessment by Jan. 31 of next year. (Hartford Courant, click here)