Artificial turf fields harm our kids and environment | Letters to the Editor

Regarding the April 3 letter to the editor, “The safety of turf fields remains in question,” I agree with Bob White’s position that artificial turf affects the health of players. However, the risks do not stop there: artificial turf is also harmful to health.

Yes, lawns require less maintenance than some other play areas and can be used in bad weather, but at what price? Bob White rightly cites the much higher incidence of injuries among players on this surface. In fact, the Women’s World Cup was played on real turf after the US team complained to FIFA that they sustained more injuries on artificial turf. However, an increased risk of injury is only part of the problem. Artificial turf also increases the playing field temperature by up to 30 degrees.

NOAA predictions for the number of summer days in Frederick County above 90 degrees are cause for concern. The news that the EU is investigating a possible ban on artificial turf due to its potential to expose players to dangerous carcinogens should certainly give us a break too.

Added to this is the cost of artificial turf for the general public: artificial turf contributes to the worrying accumulation of long-lived microplastics on earth when they biodegrade. Artificial turf produces microplastics and also contributes to landfilling. Guy Barter, chief horticulturalist at the Royal Horticultural Society, warns: “Not only [artificial turf] None of the environmental benefits of grass – like soaking up moisture, being a home for insects, feeding birds, being self-sufficient – its lifespan is not that long … it cannot be replanted or re-sown. it needs to be rolled up, lifted and taken to a landfill. “

The average lifespan of an artificial turf field is only 10 years. Does Frederick County need to add massive rolls of artificial turf to our already stressed landfills?

Artificial grass is not safe for our children’s bodies. Artificial turf is not safe for the body of our earth. For more information, see the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) compilation of Health and Safety Information on Natural Grass Versus Artificial Grass here: turi.org/artificialturf.

Stakeholders, including the Frederick County Board of Education and TJ High, please reconsider. Do we really want to trade the benefits of “endless play” for the safety of our children and the environmental health of our community?

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