Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Timely Article

Check out the article in yesterday's
Seattle Times regarding synthetic turf fields. This couldn't have been more timely, published one hour before our parks meeting yesterday morning. Bellevue Parks Department is rolling out synthetic turf on our one neighborhood park in the next month or so.

I found the following comments by readers particularly interesting:

How does this artificial turf pass the state environmental reviews such as SEPA?

Woodinville approved the November installation of two artificial turf soccer fields that drain directly into the Sammamish River and Lake Washington with a short DNS (Determination of Non-Significance) SEPA study. Outraged citizens presented findings from Dr. Brown from EHHI that detail the toxic elements found in crushed rubber tires, but no one listened. Woodinville is proceeding to lay the equivalent of 70,000 tires in the soil adjacent to one of the states premiere salmon passageways and no one is willing to listen.

The California Atty. General recently sued 6 artificial turf companies for exceeding California limits for Lead, Zinc, Arsenic, and PAH's and has put a moratorium on the installation of such fields until they can be proven to be free of heavy metals and carcinogens.

Tires are treated as hazardous waste in all states; thus, they require special disposal fees and handling at the end of use. We all pay this fee when we replace our tires. How is it that these same tires deemed by the state as hazardous, can now be crushed and put on play fields for our children to roll around and inhale the dust?

Nobody is using common sense. Artificial turf manufacturers are focusing their marketing teams toward local agencies like city parks and schools to supplement their declining market share in professional sports. For example, European soccer teams refuse to compete on artificial turf fields so North American clubs must roll out natural turf on top of the artificial turf whenever they come to town.

Breaking stories such as this one in the Seattle Times are becoming more common. Does anyone remember how stories began about smoking, asbestos and PCB's in water supplies? I think that this will be the next and government is dragging their feet because its agencies are in the middle of it by encouraging reuse recycling of tires.

* NEW YORK STATE LAWMAKERS have called for a state wide ban of tire waste turf
* CALIFORNIA state legislators have called for a moratorium
* NEW JERSEY state legislators have called for a moratorium
* MINNESOTA state legislators have called for a moratorium
* ENVIRONMENT AND HUMAN HEALTH, INC. has called for a moratorium
* The SWEDISH Chemical Agency recommended in April that the material not be used in artificial turf because the tire waste releases hazardous materials
* The ITALIAN Minister of Health found that synthetic turf fields are potentially carcinogenic
* The SOUTH KOREAn Education Ministry began investigating the safety of recycled rubber granules over the summer following student complaints of nose and eye irritation
* A recent DUTCH investigation concluded that "the leaching of zinc is a major concern"
* NORWAY has banned synthetic turf

Source: Woodinville's Parents for Safe Sports Fields website

Posted on October 24, 2009 at 9:22 PM.

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