To the Editor:
As a former Canton school teacher and Canton school parent I am extremely concerned about the installation of artificial turf on the Canton school fields. I have been apprised of the work of Dr. Philip Landrigan, Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He states that the proven hazards to children’s health are heat, turf burns or abrasions, and turf toe. In addition if any recycled tire materials are used in the turf they contain a mix of chemicals. Tire crumbs contain a multitude of carcinogenic and poisonous additives. Injuries resulting from normal playing may develop antibiotic resistant staph infections. The Hospital for Special Surgery’s study shows that there are more knee injuries on artificial turf that on natural grass.
Natural grass is becoming the preferred surface for an increasing number of professional and college sports teams. Since 1991, 18 new major league baseball stadiums have been built, all with natural grass. The older stadiums have removed the synthetic turf. All seven future ballparks currently in development will have natural grass. Even strong and fit professional athletes have complained about the use of artificial turf for the above reasons and in addition are concerned because they have swallowed and inhaled residue that results from the use of the turf fields.
Because children are extremely vulnerable to the effects of playing on artificial turf, I strongly urge Canton to reconsider the use of this substance.