Tire crumb used in synthetic turf infield contains toxic chemicals, lead and many other known carcinogens.
Children are most vulnerable to lead poison including pregnant and lactating mothers who care for them.
The use of tire crumb for synthetic turf infield is ignoring almost a 50-year history of keeping lead out of our communities.
Our schools should test that our water fountains and fields do not exceed lead concentration of 1 part per billion. Reducing lead exposure is an effective way to prevent childhood lead exposure. Compelling evidence now indicates that lead-associated cognitive deficits at blood lead concentrations below 50 parts per billion byAmerican Academy of Pediatrics July 2016. With Holmdel installing two more tire crumb infields at Phillips park in addition to the synthetic field at HHS Roggy field, consider having your blood tested for lead and the risk your family is taken using these facilities.
While I am a former Holmdel soccer and baseball coach who supports sports of all kinds, I am strongly opposed to tire crumb used in building synthetic turf fields.
Mayo Clinic's Children's Center. "Lead is a toxin to the human body and especially harmful to children due to their developing brain and nervous system. Lead can affect almost any system in the body but in children can have the most serious effects on the neurological system including poor concentration, behavioral issues, effect on IQ, effect on academic achievement, developmental delay, and in most severe cases, encephalopathy. Lead-contaminated dust are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. Other sources include water pipes, contaminated air, water and soil.
Research on synthetic fields that use ground up tires containing lead along with other toxins and carcinogens represents a real danger that would poison the land, water, and air. Air contamination is worse if the tire crumb is burnt.
The US EPA prohibits the burning or burying of tires.
From EPA July 2019 Report: Tire Crumb Rubber Characterization
identified 36 Compounds rated carcinogenic or probable carcinogens by IRIS and IARC classifications including:
Spreadsheet with Toxicity Reference Information.xlsx(254 K, July 25, 2019)
The 2019 World Champion US Women’s soccer team fought and won to play on natural grass since several players have died from cancer. Many professional teams have replacing synthetic turf with natural. Some communities have opted to remove synthetic turf due to these risks. Other communities just avoid the problem and use natural grass. The wait and see approach would save Holmdel the cost of building and possible removing tire crumb from synthetic turf infield.
If Holmdel Township insists on building synthetic turf fields, these fields should be certified to be free of carcinogens and other environmental hazardous materials, by a nationally recognized laboratory. Dump sites containing buried tires are eligible for super toxic funding. Warning signs should be posted to educate uninformed players and their parents is warranted. Holmdel should get specific insurance to protect the community from future lawsuits that will surely come when our children are diagnosed with cancer or when we discover that our children are failing academically do to lead contamination and the other chemicals.
The ongoing Flint, Michigan and Newark water catastrophe demonstrates the real danger of lead in our water supply. It is simpler and cost-effective to protect our water supply from known contaminants rather than trying to remove them later. Reverse Osmosis water filters capable of filtering out lead cost approximately $1000. Simple activated carbon filters just are not adequate.
Natural grass playing conditions cause scheduling issues which is solved by rescheduling games. Is rescheduling inconvenience worth the synthetic turf’s risk of lead poisoning?
Holmdel Township should choose alternatives to synthetic fields which do not contain lead, heavy metals and are safe for players as well as all the community. We have ethical, moral and financial responsibility to protect all our children and our environment, now and for the future.
24 East Lawn Drive
Holmdel NJ 07733