Scientific Evidence Unclear on Risk of Artificial Turf Fields
From excessive heat to scrapes to cancer, the latest generation of artificial turf has been accused of being a safety risk that is unacceptable for use on athletic fields like the one being contemplated at Mount Greylock Regional School.
iBerkshires.com reports even proponents of the turf will concede the first two points, admitting that "turf burn" abrasions are a real and that synthetic surfaces do get hotter than natural grass.
But reports of higher cancer incidences among athletes with long-term exposure to synthetic surfaces are highly anecdotal and do not stand up to scientific scrutiny, proponents say. And the health benefits of a reliable playing surface for interscholastic sports and physical education programs outweigh the other risks, according to those urging the district to invest in an artificial turf field at the middle-high school.
Perhaps the most serious concern for many and the one that catches the ear of many parents in the district is the idea that artificial surfaces can expose youngsters to dangers not found on grass fields.
That debate begins in Washington State and ends — proponents hope — in Washington, D.C.