Outdoor Recreation Study Committee Requests Synthetic Turf Info from Board of Health

By Kim Siebert MacPhail

The ad hoc Outdoor Recreation Study Committee that was formed to advise the town about athletic field inventory, conditions and usage has requested information from the Board of Health about synthetic turf. Specifically, the group wants to know if there are health hazards associated with playing on synthetic fields.

Members of the Board, as well as Director Heidi Porter, enumerated certain well-known synthetic turf concerns such as field-reflected heat, lead colorant, cleaning the turf material, the presence of bacteria and viruses, turf burns, and whether there are increased injuries from playing on the surface. Most of these issues, according to Board members, are no longer as controversial as they once were when earlier generations of turf materials were being used. On the issue of heat, however, the Board will recommend that a misting/cooling tent be included in the project plans.

Porter stated she would research the latest data and report back to the Board before responding to the Outdoor Recreation Study Committee.

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