Monday, November 26, 2007

Synthetic Turf Hazards: Is That Beautiful Green Field Harming Our Kids? Cadman Plaza Park a Case in Point

Signs posted around the synthetically turfed and still controversial Cadman Plaza Park (in Brooklyn Heights/Downtown Brooklyn) inform us of a presentation to be given Thursday about the potentially hazardous chemicals in synthetic turf. Speakers are William Crain of City College of New York and Junfeng Zhang of Rutgers. See the sign above for time and location.

Protests marches and meetings with Councilman Yassky failed to prevent the plasticizing of Cadman Plaza Park last year. Once called a "dust bowl," the park gets more use than ever from both sports teams and casual ball-throwers now that it has been perma-greened.

Vast improvements besides the synthetic turf were made to the long-neglected park at the same time. A meandering running trail was installed, drainage was improved, grass, bushes and flowers were planted around the synthetic field and other improvements were made. The north oval of the park received a major soil upgrade and reseeding, as well. The Parks Department no longer lets news television trucks (covering the nearby courthouse) drive on the Fieldturf, as it did when the area was covered with grass.

But in spite of the attractive perma-green, safety questions linger. Professor Crain says that one problem is the lack of conclusive studies on the safety of the pellets used in the synthetic turf. The pellets "stick to bloody scrapes and sweaty skin and find their way into socks," he said. Preliminary testing indicated the rubber pellets, made from recycled tires, contain high levels of polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that exceed levels deemed safe by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

- That Brooklyn Astroturf is Hot!
- With Hoopla But No Protests, Brooklyn's Astroturfed Cadman Plaza Park Unveiled
- Cadman Plaza Park Opens --- Officially
- Blue/ Green Slime Invades What Remains of Cadman Plaza Park
- Cadman Plaza Park Opened -- But Not by Parks Department
- Parks Dept. Refuses to Study Synthetic Turf Health Risks
- Keeping 'Em Down on the Farm
- Toxic Park in Brooklyn Heights?

Photos by MK Metz


Anonymous said...

Oh stop whining.
Dirt [what used to be there] and whatever was in it got into cuts, too. And probably hurt as much or worse than anything that's on the field now.
That park was a field of glass until the artificial surface was put on.
There seems to be more respect for the space, too ... as rightfully said in the post, tv trucks can't ride on the field for court coverage any more ...
and we don't see the whiners putting up their hedge fund millions [after all it IS the Heights] to maintain a natural grass field 24/365.

Anonymous said...

Besides the artificial turf, the Parks Dept. did a great job on the landscaping. There's more grass, flowers and plantings around the edge of the field then there used to be. But will it be maintained? The old park wasn't.

Anonymous said...

Look at Red Hook field to see what Cadman will look like in a couple of years.