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Old 08-07-07, 08:26 AM   #1
JackSpratts
 
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: New England
Posts: 9,987
Default Possible Carcinogens Could Pose a Real Problem for Artificial Turf

Scientists Foresee Danger in a Synthetic Future
Robert Miller

Broadview Middle School added synthetic turf to its new athletic field, which is set to officially open in September.

It seems like a deal in every way. There's a payback even in the up-front costs.

Rather than spend money to maintain school playing fields -- the watering, the fertilizing, the turf replacement -- towns are now installing synthetic grass fields at their schools and parks.

It may cost a few hundred thousand dollars, but once it's down, it's carefree. It doesn't need watering or fertilizer or pesticides.

And it's safer when it comes to preventing accidents, said Phil Ross, director of buildings and grounds for the New Fairfield Board of Education.

"That's the No. 1 issue with us," Ross said. "Synthetic grass fields are so much safer. With natural grass, they can be wet or muddy or have rocks. Synthetic fields are always level, always consistent.

"Honestly, all my colleagues would tell you the same thing. All the towns around here have at least one."

But now there's a concern -- not a challenge exactly, but a question. What if the sun-baked rubber that makes those fields so safe and bouncy gives off fumes that kids -- especially young kids -- shouldn't be breathing?

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