Sunday, May 10, 2015

"the state recommends “common sense” to minimize exposure"

While the decision to continue to build a new turf field at the high school won't be changed, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting is looking into the safety issue.

Part of the article published at Huffinton Post:
As opposition mounts, some consider the fields a solid waste problem, and question what towns would do with the thousands of pounds of crushed tires if the issue reaches a tipping point. The momentum of concern has pushed the California legislature to consider legislation prohibiting the use of state funds to build new fields with recycled tires and that would require towns and cities to examine cleaner alternatives before launching a new project. The Los Angeles Unified School District and the New York City Parks Departments already have stopped construction of new fields with crumb rubber following past concern about lead content. 
Artificial turf advocates say there are multiple studies that show fields are safe, while critics argue that there are no conclusive tests to prove such claims and that waiting for definitive evidence of a health hazard leaves children unprotected. 
More than 300 such fields have been built in Massachusetts during the past decade and they are becoming a coveted sports alternative for student athletes in towns from Boston to Attleboro, New Bedford to Springfield, according to a survey of field construction companies carried out by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. Athletes who play on the fields are well acquainted with the black pellets – a spray of which is often kicked up by bouncing balls and running children, and gets into cleats and tracked into homes and mixed with laundry after practice.
FHS girls soccer team kicks off a home game on the turf field at FHS in October
FHS girls soccer team kicks off a home game on the turf field at FHS in October

Continue reading the full article here

For more information about the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, you can visit their webpage here

The MA Dept of Health letter on the topic can be found here

Updated: from the Sun Chronicle

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