Now it's another million dollars we don't have for "Astroturf" or its more modern equivalent.
Why? Because it always "looks pretty," and "everybody else has it?"
Pay closer attention, parents!
Artificial turf fields are associated with a very wide range of health problems, including lead poisoning1 from the older fields they are presently playing on at other locations, and toxic substance exposure2 from the newer cushioning surfaces on the fields currently being built that we're only just beginning to understand.
But that awareness is coming: "Researchers find new generation of artificial turf isn't any softer."
In case anybody has forgotten, rubber=latex3.
Got allergies or sensitization? This is far more dangerous to kids because of their smaller size.
(We've all seen those adorable little PAL bodies with huge helmets scurrying up and down the football field.)
Their bodies should also be promptly scrubbed after playing to remove toxic contaminants... before stopping for pizza after the game!
They have to avoid drinking fluids while on the fields, due to the potential for particle contamination of their drinks. Which is really a shame, because the plastic playing surface raises the ambient temperature fifteen degrees (15°) and raises the risk of dehydration.
There are also "fake-field" specific injuries... has anyone seen the strawberries this surface material can inflict from a tackle? I have. Ugly!
Additionally, kids are more prone to infections from abrasions (such as those from the bacteria, MRSA, that has killed football players4), since artificial turf does not have the anti-bacterial protective elements of natural grass.
Kids in the city would kill for a real grass field. And you want to put a layer of plastic over a soil surface? Isn't that counter to what the Hamptons are all about?
We've been paying salaries for the groundskeepers ever since I can remember. Today, it is good to keep people employed, (except maybe for overpaid school superintendents and investment bankers). If they need more help, why, please get off your yoga mats, bicycles and golf carts and get to work.
If you are one of the many hard-working parents, realize our most precious resource is your children. You should invest a weekend to work the (natural) turf with specialists; or perform other tasks to free the lawn experts and make the fields viable again.
(With all the perfectly groomed estates in the area somebody around these parts certainly knows grass!)
Think Wimbledon, not Disney!
Now that is community service!
And such an example for your kids.
Mrs. Speir is a 35-year medical professional and a former Soccer Mom of ten years duration.
Thanks for the informative article. Any responsible parent should be against any surface other than natural grass.
Surely you jest. you can't compare old turf to new. They are completely different. It's like saying cars before ABS, power steering and seatbelts were dangerous and therefore you should avoid a new car. Apples and Oranges.
Secondly, strawberries and lead were relevant to the old carpet turf. The new crumble turf afford you neither. If fact it remains remarkable in that you can use cleats (it's pliable anf has grip because of the fake grass) yet there is no burn. Trust me, I slide on it all the time and it plays like grass in that sense.
What it doesn't do is give a true bounce. A soccer punt usually has a forward roll. A high angle punt gets a reverse English on it... a little weird until you get used to it.
As for injuries they are less common since it now plays like grass. No more turf toe, strawberries, and ACL injuries from planted feet. It drains better so you never have that proverbial mud football game. I certainly don't want to spend a million dollars on a field but to spin fear and falsehoods (c'mon, lead in old fields!) is playing the fear card. Argue better next time.
Hambone does need to read all the links and my further comments and concessions. The new "grass," not the fill, is leaching not only lead but a variety of toxic junk.
Nutbeem, excellent point, especially as in the literature review it is mentioned the parts of the field that are most heavily played get compacted in fairly short order.
Then there's the "" link issue that! A total disaster....