Newton is proposing to install artificial turf at Albemarle Field in Newtonville for $ 2.2 million dollars, and the city is shortcutting the process without input from residents or thorough investigation into its environmental impacts and alternatives that could be safer.
There are too many questions surrounding the environmental safety of artificial turf: Albemarle field abuts the Day Middle School Woods, the Gath pool recreation area, and the Cheesecake Brook that feeds the Charles River–all sensitive areas where children play and where there is potential for toxic chemicals leaching into waterways.
- Artificial turf causes more injuries including broken bones, concussions, and strain than natural grass
- Artificial turf raises the ground temperature between 20 – 40 degrees fahrenheit and is especially dangerous to kids with asthma and other respiratory diseases.
- Artificial turf has been banned in four Massachusetts communities, and a moratorium is proposed in others.
- Artificial turf has been associated with Gioblastomas (brain tumors) in six Philadelphia Phillies baseball players and in multiple girls’ soccer players.
- Artificial turf contains microplastics, PFAS, and heavy metals that are toxic for people and wildlife. Artificial turf leaches into the ground and groundwater around it, poisoning waterways.
- Artificial turf Is expensive to install. It cannot be recycled. The non-profit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission accusing the makers and marketers of artificial turf of deceptive and unfair advertising for claims it can be recycled.
There are smarter, safer and less expensive options for athletic fields.
Sign the petition to STOP new artificial turf in Newton.
Information on the hazards of artificial turf:
- “Forum on Artificial Turf” (video recording), hosted by Jordan Weinstein, Arlington MA town meeting member featuring Dr. Kyla Bennett from PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility).
- “Synthetic Turf is HAZARDOUS”, Beyond Plastics.
- “New Health Concerns Over Synthetic Playing Fields“, Ecology Center.