Letter to the Editor: Be Informed About Synthetic Turf Field

Springfield's Environmental Commission Chair expresses concerns about proposed turf field.

Educate yourself before voting for the synthetic turf field proposed for .  

This is not a political issue, just an issue of safety for our children & increased flooding risks to our homes. Please do your own research and decide for yourself! 

 Areas of concern

1. There are toxins found in the rubber pellets made from the recycled materials. Toxins are harmful to the children that play on them. The pellets contain heavy metals & known carcinogens.  

Recommendations from health departments around the country include: 

  • Children should shower and wash thoroughly after playing on artificial turf fields. 
  • Clothes that were worn on the field should be taken off inside out and washed separately.

2. Artificial turf surfaces are reported to have temperatures significantly higher than natural grass fields, increasing the risk of burns, dehydration and heat exhaustion in children.   

3. Other health concerns about artificial turf fields have been raised, including:  abrasions, infections, and increased injury rates. The surface may harbor dangerous bacteria because it does not get washed down and irrigated that increases risks of antibiotic resistant infections. Goose/animal droppings don’t decompose quickly on these artificial surfaces.   

4. The chemicals from the pellets and rubber will run off into our local streams and natural springs, decreasing our water quality and adding to our local pollution.   

5. Drainage failures are one of the major problems confronting owners of turf fields. Doesn’t Springfield have enough problems with drainage and flooding?
Do we need to add to that problem especially in a neighborhood that already floods?   

A few quick references:  




Ms. DeVone read a version of this at the Feb. 6 Springfield School Board meeting.

Marc Krauss February 14, 2012 at 04:10 PM
I am truly disappointed in the SEC. They have failed to educate the public. What I would have expected is a paper or study endorsed by the SEC on the pros and cons of artificial turf vs. natural turf or a combination of artificial materials and organic infill materials and a final analysis and recommendation. Nothing has been forthcoming. They have failed to mention the pesticides and herbicides needed to properly maintain a natural turf field and the environmental impact and the thousands of gallons to water such a field requires to withstand repeated use. I respect their point of view and their position they have taken but I am disappointed in their lack of information regarding all the surface materials that could be used on the field.
Committeeman Jerry Fernandez February 14, 2012 at 05:18 PM
The cost of the field consist of ways to help with drainage and to ensure there is no flooding issues. http://zszs.us/z0Gf5X. With so many towns around us that currently have turf there is evidence that the new turf fields are safe. Our children have been playing on Turf for years with all their away games, and what they call home in Union. http://zszs.us/AlbHBq http://zszs.us/x8R7Ck
Big U February 14, 2012 at 05:23 PM
I think most experts would argue that the pesticides and fertilizers are more dangerous than Turf. I respect everyone's opinion but to me this is more about a "tree hugger" mentality. Issues with Astro Turf of the 80's have been resolved. Synthetic is what we are talking about. The document with all the questions has been posted. Go to the meeting and get educated if you don't understand or are confused. There is nothing to hide with this process. I would respect people's opinion of the health concerns if I ever heard of someone that wasn't allowed to play on a Synthetic Turf field when they played in another town. If you truly believe it's a health risk then you wouldn't allow your children to play AWAY games in other towns (Haven't heard of that happening)...... I'll attach a link to a document that explains away all the FEAR tactics being used. http://www.fieldturf.com/images/downloads/FieldTurf_Safety_Proven_With_Science.pdf
Phil Iuliano February 14, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Mrs. DeVone and members of the SEC. See report (link below) from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission which found turf to be safe. www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08348.html
A Coach February 16, 2012 at 01:21 AM
It's Amazing that I have never seen Mrs. DeVone or any of the other Springfield residents before make any objections about our Football team playing in Union on Turf or for that matter any objections about our student athletes competing on other towns turf? Something is fundamentally wrong with their Safety Concern. I wonder if they use Cell phones because I can find tons of arguments on the potential Safety concerns about cell phones...


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