Crumb Rubber Turf Field at MS54

I recently signed a petition on Action Network telling Mark Levine, New York City Council Member, 7th District to Remove Hazardous Turf from Soccer Field.

If you have a child at Booker T Washington, you’ve seen them. You’ve stepped on them, swept them up and plucked them from socks fresh out of the dryer: tiny black pellets – ground up tire rubber – from the field adjacent to MS54 where our kids have recess and play before and after school.

There are over 12,000 synthetic turf fields in the US, most of them contain ground up tires called crumb rubber. Recently, questions have been raised about these fields and a possible link to cancer. In the 1990’s the Federal and state governments were looking for alternative ways to recycle billions of used tires that could not be put in landfills. As a result, the crumb-rubber industry was born. Estimates show that between 20,000 to 30,000 tires are ground up per field.

In 2015, a study aimed at determining the makeup of crumb rubber found 12 known carcinogens. Half of the 96 chemicals found were not government tested. The study also found irritants and PAHs (known carcinogens). Which leads many parents and athletes to ask the obvious next question: Are these fields safe? Ingestion, meaning inhalation as well as absorption through abrasions, cuts, eyes are a few of the ways athletes are exposed to possibly toxic chemicals when interacting with the crumb-rubber surface.

The MS54 PTA and SLT, in conjunction with MS54’s newly formed Wellness Council, are sponsoring a petition to the City Council for funds to replace this degraded turf with a new, eco-friendly material that is better for our kids and the environment. But to make it happen we need your support — please sign our petition! The more signatures we gather, the greater our chances of success. A new field will benefit not only MS54 students but the many neighborhood residents and soccer and baseball leagues who use the field frequently.

Can you join me and take action? Click here to sign the petition.


Source: ESPN W, ESPN E:60,  Environment and Human Health Inc, EPA

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