Letter: BCC field should wait until federal turf study

BCC field should wait until federal turf study

To the editor:

I respectfully request proponents of the BCC turf field to wait until the ongoing federal government study results are released before starting construction. A negative report would cause embarrassment for BCC and increased costs for state and city taxpayers.

An online article (Feb. 13 from the Orange County Register in Santa Ana, CA comprehensively explains the issue. I urge the proponents of the turf field at BCC and all parents of children that will use the field to carefully read the article at www.ocregister.com/articles/study-704008-fields-turf.html.

Below are some selected quotes from the article. Please take the time to go online and read the entire article.

"Following increasing concerns about the safety of recycled tire material used on synthetic turf fields, the Obama administration announced a federal study to look into potential health risks.

"The material in question — ground-up waste tires — has been a source of debate across the country since late 2014, when parents and health and environment advocates began demanding studies about whether repeated contact with the material could cause cancer.

"That's the year a University of Washington soccer coach came forward with a list of a few dozen young athletes with cancer who regularly played on turf fields — surfaces where tire pieces have been spread thickly to provide cushion and traction. The pieces often end up in the mouths, ears and clothing of athletes."

"The list of cancer-stricken players now includes more than 200 athletes across the country who play a variety of sports on turf fields, including football and field hockey. Half of the ill athletes on the list are soccer goalies under age 35 whose position requires them to do a lot of diving into the turf fields."

"The three agencies that will carry out the study are the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

"The idea will be to discover what chemicals are in crumb rubber and how people are exposed to them. The agencies expect to release a draft report of findings and conclusions by the end of the year."

Edward Wetzel, Pittsfield


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