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)