Opinion: Wilbur Cross should invest in a first-rate grass field — not a synthetic field

How is it that towns are still proposing synthetic turf fields? New Haven is now such a town — with Wilbur Cross High School contemplating pulling up their grass field and putting down a synthetic turf field.

Do they not care that in the middle of a plastic epidemic they are proposing to lay down acres of plastic, and then asking their students to play sports on the acres of newly installed plastic field?

Do they not care that athletes have far more injuries on synthetic turf fields than on natural grass fields?That is one of the reasons why 50 percent of the National Football League has now pulled up their synthetic turf fields and replaced them with Kentucky grass fields. The players hated playing on synthetic turf.

Do they not care that in the summer the fields are too hot to play on? New Haven is experiencing the effects of global warming and Connecticut is now getting over 90 days of heat at 90 degrees or higher when the synthetic turf fields get to be 160 degrees. This is hot enough to burn players and cause possible heat strokes.

Do they not care that there are 10 carcinogens and many respiratory irritants in synthetic turf fields? The fields also contain flame retardants because they are made from petrochemicals and are highly flammable.

Do they not care that these fields require pesticides and antimicrobials? The green plastic grass also contains “forever” chemicals PFAs.

There have now been so many studies on the dangers of synthetic turf fields and so many stories about professional athletes hating to play on them — why are towns still proposing them?

There is no safer surface for athletes to play on than natural grass. New Haven should put its resources into making Wilbur Cross’s athletic field be a first rank grass field and be proud of their decision.

Nancy Alderman, President

Environment and Human Health, Inc.

North Haven

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