Letter: Protect our youth from artificial turf | Letters

It is going to cost Carlisle Area School District and the youth that play on the planned synthetic turf so much more than $9.1 million multi-year athletic fields and facilities upgrades. Synthetic turf poses huge health and environmental hazards.

The health costs of synthetic turf are significant and numerous, causing an increase in player injuries, heat levels and exposures to toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. It is unregulated, contributes to more petroleum-based plastic, destroys healthy soil for decades after synthetic turf is removed, lasts only eight to 10 years before it significantly deteriorates and has to be replaced. It is expensive to maintain and consumes large amounts of water to maintain and cool.

The US Women’s World Cup-winning soccer team fought to play on natural grass fields due to synthetic turf injuries. Severe skin abrasions take longer to heal due to infection from bacteria, toxins and burns. Stress on ligaments, tendons and joints are increased.

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In addition, artificial turf creates heat islands. Heat Levels can reach as much as 180 degrees F! This added stress on the body makes sports susceptible to more risks including heat stroke. A skinned knee is a burnt knee.

In addition to burns and injuries, players are subjected to long-term health impacts from exposure to unsafe levels of lead, mercury, cadmium and other known carcinogens. The “recycled” rubber tire turf contains additional hazardous organic chemicals.

In addition to the human health costs extracted on our youth, the environment loses out. Contaminated runoff and migration of synthetic materials causes loss of wildlife habitat. Turf also contributes to stormwater problems.

The equipment, supplies and labor can cost $250,000 if you include the replacement of turf every eight to 10 years.

Our youth and environmental health should be protected from this field of harm.

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