Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Parks Dept. Refuses to Study Synthetic Turf Health Risks

The city’s Parks Dept. has refused a request to study possible health risks from synthetic turf fields currently installed at 73 locations and planned for another 40 athletic fields, reports Metro.

It seems that William Crain, a developmental psychologist at CUNY, collected a handful of rubber pellets from a synthetic turf field in Riverside Park and sent it to Rutgers University for a toxicology test a year ago.

The rubber comes from recycled tires, and Crain’s toxicology test showed levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the highly carcinogenic benzo(a)pyrene far above safety standards set by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Metro reports.

If this was found in dirt, Crain said, the state would declare the fields contaminated.

Brooklyn Heights residents have long protested the installation of synthetic turf in Cadman Plaza Park, for environmental and other reasons. (See the series of stories published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle here, and here and here and here.)

Photo of the non-Astroturfed portion of Cadman Park by MK Metz.

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