Stop Synthetic Turf Fields, PROTECT GREENWICH CHILDREN
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PROTECT OUR CHILDREN
STOP THE DEVELOPMENT OF SYNTHETIC TURF FIELDS
The Board of Education’s position is to turf ALL MIDDLE SCHOOL fields in Greenwich … starting with Central Middle School.
Please join us. Your signature matters.
As a Greenwich, CT resident (18+ years old), I support the need for more fields for student activities. At the same time, I am opposed to artificial or synthetic turf fields for one or more of the reasons listed in this document.
Central Middle School (CMS) is the first of the middle schools in the town of Greenwich being considered for artificial turf, lights and bleachers. If this happens, the CMS neighborhood and others in the future will change forever.
1. Health Effects – Detrimental Due to Carcinogenic Exposure
Artificial/Synthetic turf is made up of at least three major parts: backing material to hold the individual blades of artificial grass, the plastic blades themselves and the infill, those tiny crumbs that support the blades. All contain known carcinogens.
Elementary and Middle School children, both current and future, will continually be exposed to toxic chemicals as well as carcinogens during gym and after-school activities.
How do you feel when you read this?
Mount Sinai’s Children’s Environmental Health Center: “Tips for Safer Play on Artificial Turf Surfaces”
o Avoid use on very hot days
o Avoid use for passive activities (i.e. sitting, lounging, picnicking)
o Monitor young children to prevent accidental ingestion
o Always wear shoes on artificial turf
o Wash hands before eating, drinking, or adjusting mouth guard
o Clean cuts and abrasions immediately
o Brush hair thoroughly after play
o Remove and clean shoes and gear outside before getting in car
o At home, take off shoes and shake out children’s equipment & clothes outside or over the garbage
o Shower immediately after playing on artificial turf
o Vacuum any infill that comes into your home
2. Environmental Impact – Pollution of Water, Land and Air
Plant Based Infills (PBIs) are expensive and like rubber crumb infill, migrate significantly, polluting water and the environment. There has been no long-term study on the effects of children inhaling chemical-laced PBIs. In addition, organic infills contain silica sand, identified by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) as a Class I carcinogen. OSHA also classifies silica as a hazardous material. Organic infill marketing is not certified by the USDA and is unregulated.
Beware of False Advertising: Companies that sell and install artificial turf often claim there is no evidence that children are harmed or no evidence that the fields can serve as a potential source for the spread of bacterial pathogens. Neither is true.
• Diana M. Zuckerman, Ph.D., President, National Center for Health Research, warns the Mayor and City Council of Washington, DC about the danger of an alternative infill including Envirofill and lack of adequate G-max measurements. October 2017.
3. Cost-Myth that Synthetic Fields Cost Less than Natural Grass
A properly installed and maintained quality natural grass field remains viable for at least twice as long as artificial turf. There are significant costs to tear up, remove and reinstall new artificial turf every eight to ten years. When equipment and maintenance costs are combined with construction costs, a natural grass field averages out to less per year than an artificial field.
“ … non-partisan studies have shown … natural grass fields are a bargain compared to artificial turf due to the huge costs taxpayers get stuck with to maintain and replace artificial fields after their warrantees [sic] expire.” (Forbes, Sept 28, 2014)
4. Community Safety-More Traffic and Congestion lead to Accidents
Congestion near Central Middle School during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up has already been the site of multiple accidents. Between 2006 and 2018, there were over 300% more accidents on Indian Rock Lane than on neighboring streets. Traffic will significantly increase when High School students have practices and when games are held for students as well as for leagues, camps and outside organizations. Add to this the noise and pollution from idling cars, and this neighborhood will be changed forever.
5. Loss of Neighborhood-Preserve Our Neighborhoods for Neighbors
Central Middle School field is a meeting place where neighbors become friends and where community is created. Once the artificial field is built its use will extend far beyond High School practices and games; it will become a revenue stream through field rentals. This will have a negative impact jeopardizing our gathering place, the market value of our homes and our quality of life.
REAL GRASS FOR HEALTHY KIDS
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