Friday, February 29, 2008

Minneapolis rejects synthetic turf (click)

More and more cities and towns are rejecting toxic artificial turf. Read this article to see how this movement is gaining momentum. From NYC, Minneapolis, Newark and MANY other places, people are saying an emphatic NO to this material.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Central Record's latest...........(click)

Central record continues to report on the turf drama.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Courier Post Editor Weighs in on the Democratic Process (click)

Here's how the editor sees things......

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bluejersey reports on the Evesham turf debate (click)

A great balanced article on Bluejersey

Turf is about to hit the fan in Evesham Township (Click)

Turf wars in Evesham have now made national news. Click the link above to read all about it.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Excellent article by another reader (Click Here)

The rug costs $500,000 to replace. The annual cost of maintaining each field is about $10 to $15,000, as the field, when properly maintained, requires combing and fluffing, sweeping, and treatment for removal/killing of bacteria, weeds and seeds, and minimizing static electricity (with the help of gallons of fabric softener). The surface requires periodical application of sand and rubber crumb, and replacement or patchwork of the prematurely frayed or damaged areas. To protect them, the fields will be fenced in and limited for athletic use. No dogs, no chewing gum, and no orange and watermelon allowed.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Reader sends VAST this article (Click)

Interesting story, especially considering there is so much debate on whether MRSA is increased among those people who utilize synthetic turf.

The latest firestorm....... MRC vs Voters

VAST’s statement on MRC’s latest statements:

VAST is sadly disappointed with the way the Marlton
Rec Council has decided to react to the voice of the
tax payer and voter. The MRC has publicly stated the
threat that they will shut down and close if the
public signs the petition where VAST asks for
Democracy to be heard.

Just to be clear, VAST’s objectives are not political.
They simply want the voters to decide how everyone’s
Open Space Tax dollars are spent when dealing with
such a questionable idea where there are many
unanswered questions that must be addressed before the
fields are approved.

For the MRC to respond like this shows they are
clearly scared of the public not wanting synthetic
turf fields. This type of response is sad and only
demonstrates that the MRC is willing to punish our
children by stopping all recreation sports programs.
The MRC has put their selfish wants ahead of the
enjoyment and development of our children.

VAST believes that Marlton’s sports programs are
simply fantastic. The disagreement is VAST believes
that these sports programs should be played on safe,
natural grass. Now, the MRC is threatening not to let
our children play any organized sport on any surface.

VAST encourages Democracy and the voice of the tax
payer/voter. That’s all we ask for, Democracy.

Thank you

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Turf plan foes say put issue to vote.... (click for entire article)

Burlington County Times
EVESHAM — A day after the Township Council approved spending $3.1 million to build two artificial turf fields, opponents of the plan have not given up their fight.

While no decisions have been made, Karen Borden, a member of the grassroots group Voters Against Synthetic Turf, said yesterday she believes there's enough support in town to override the council's decision Tuesday night and put the measure to a public referendum vote.

“It's definitely doable,” Borden said, noting it only took her group five days to get 400 people to sign an earlier petition opposing the turf fields.

Opponents have objected to the plan primarily because of health and safety concerns related to the products used in the fields, the lack of public input in the decision and the township's use of local open space tax revenues on land it doesn't own.

In order to recall the bond ordinance and put it to a public vote, opponents have 20 days to get 15 percent of the voters who cast ballots in the last election for state Assembly to sign a petition stating they favor such a referendum.

Basically, that means the group must get about 1,100 signatures from registered voters in town in less than three weeks.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Council overrides public opinion.....

Unfortunately, 4 of our elected officials (Brown, Schmidt, McKenna and Brown) decided to vote in opposition to the will of the public last night. They voted "YES" to install artificial turf at Cherokee (on land we don't own) and at Memorial Sports Complex. There was standing room only at the Council meeting. People stood in line to have their voices heard, apparently it fell on deaf ears. Out of approximately 35 people who spoke, only 4 were in favor of this proposal. It seems that a representative government does not exist in the township of Evesham anymore.

VAST is in the process of determining what our next step is concerning this matter. Please contact us and let us know your thoughts and ideas. It has come to my attention that it is possible to get this ordinance put back to the public for vote if we are able to obtain petitions that number 15% of the voter turnout in the last general election. We don't have hard numbers yet, but think that number is somewhere in the vicinity of 1000.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Infill Systems the Real Scoop (click here)

.....if a field like this isn't scarified, brush dragged, topdressed and cleaned on a regular basis, the surface may become dangerously hard for athletes to compete on. The field that's not maintained aggressively will look nice and new, yet may not be satisfactory for play.

In short, the new rubber infill systems require aggressive maintenance to maintain safety, yet those practices are likely detrimental to the longevity of the surface. This is the reverse of a natural turf field, which is certainly considered an investment in the longevity of the grass surface.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Residents of Evesham, NJ Unite against turf

Residents unite against turf issue
To the editor:

A number of Evesham Township residents and Lenape Regional High School District voters have organized a group called Voters Against Synthetic Turf (VAST).

Our mission is to bring to light all the health safety, environmental, and financial concerns that surround the Evesham Township Council's decision to fast-track the installation of synthetic turf at Cherokee High School and Memorial Sports Complex.

In November 2006, LRHSD voters overwhelmingly defeated a ballot question calling for the installation of synthetic turf. VAST believes that voters have been disenfranchised by the council's decision to override this vote.

We have also discovered dozens of health and environmental concerns raised by the materials in artificial turf that we believe necessitate an immediate moratorium on installation of this product, certainly until studies prove its safety.

Members of the public who are interested in signing our petition calling for this moratorium are asked to contact

VAST asks interested members of the public to attend the Evesham Township Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Evesham Township Municipal Building at 984 Tuckerton Road.

Please let your voice be heard by signing our petition or attending this meeting.

David J. Silver
Voters Against Synthetic Turf

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Study proves contaminants in infill (click for full story)

The unknow risk factors associated with the rubber infill are numerous and need further investigation. Apparently New York State feels that it is worthwhile to put the health of children first and foremost. We are hoping that Evesham Township does the right thing by our children as well.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Beckham Against Fieldturf (click for full article)

At a press conference in the bowels of RFK Stadium on Wednesday, Beckham spoke out strongly about the artificial surface at several MLS grounds and made his feelings perfectly clear: He hates them.

He likes real grass.

"Every game, every team, should have grass – without a doubt," Beckham said. "You can't ask any soccer athlete to perform at a high level on FieldTurf.

"That is one thing I think should change about the league because of what it does to your body. You are in bits for days afterwards."

He is not the first and certainly will not be the last player to complain about FieldTurf, which cures aches in the heads of franchise owners but allegedly creates pains in the joints of MLS players for days after matches.

But when such protests come from Beckham, it means so much more, and MLS may be left with little choice but to act. These comments, like every word the 32-year-old utters in public, will be heard around the globe and could potentially affect American soccer's ability to attract the international stars it craves.

FieldTurf looks to be a cheap option on paper, but if it causes injuries, reduces player effectiveness and turns away potential targets, then it is surely more trouble than it is worth.

Fox News Article (Click for full article)

How Green Is Artificial Turf?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

By Meg Shannon

......... According to a 2007 report by the NFL Players Association, 61 percent of 1,511 players polled had negative reviews of artificial surfaces, with many believing artificial surfaces were more likely to cause injury and shorten players' careers.

There may be something to that. A 2005 New England Journal of Medicine study found a high rate of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus, or MRSA, bacterial infection in artificial-turf scrapes among St. Louis Rams players, though it blamed the transmission of the bacteria on sloppy hygiene rather than the turf itself.

Then there's the problem of cleaning the stuff. Blood, sweat and spit are easily absorbed by natural soil, but on artificial turf they've got to be swabbed down with disinfectants and detergents, then mopped up.

Perhaps the biggest environmental hazard from artificial turf is in its disposal, Wood says.

Synthetic turf on school athletic fields needs to be completely replaced after eight to 12 years, but the old turf will never disintegrate, she points out, adding that it's already been banned by some landfills.

Still, Wood admits that fake grass is the right choice for certain locations, such as indoor or domed fields and urban playgrounds that have blacktop or concrete lying beneath.

Both artificial-turf proponents and environmentalists agree on one thing: It's still early in the game for a firm conclusion on its impact on health and the immediate surroundings.

"There's a lot of pressure [to come up with a solid answer]," says Neil Lewis, executive director at Neighborhood Network, a non-profit environmental organization on New York's suburban Long Island. "And we are doing this without a lot of information, which I think is a mistake."

Community Alert on Synthetic Turf

Community Alert on Synthetic Turf

Information is becoming available to the public at large regarding the very real concerns people have about the potential harmful affects of artificial turf. They are summarized below. Most of the information that is gathered here has been taken from studies conducted by both the Environment and Human Health, Inc (EHHI) and also by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

* Crumb rubber is made of ground-up, used tires that contain hazardous substances including the metals arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead, zinc and other chemicals including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and phthalates. Recent studies conducted in Connecticut and New York have confirmed the presence of these substances on existing fields at levels exceeding current allowable NYS Department of Environmental Conservation limits.

* Health effects of these chemicals include immune system damage, cancer and endocrine disruption which is particularly more likely to occur during times of rapid cell proliferation (puberty). These substances enter the body via rapid breathing that takes place during exercise and also via the inhalation of this mix of chemical and metal laden dust that is kicked up during routine play. These rubber pellets have also been found in children’s clothes, mouth guards and in their cleats, providing for more portals of entry.

* Since fields are constructed of up to 10 tons of crumb rubber from used tires and since these same tires are prohibited from being disposed of in landfills and oceans, it is safe to say we are forcing these children to play on environmental waste.

* The NY State Assembly (A09503) and the NY State Senate (S6531) have introduced Bills calling for a 6-month moratorium on the installation of artificial turf fields that use crumb rubber as filler due to the unknown and potentially harmful effects that this substance has on human and environmental health. Precedent is being set by NYS, and here in Evesham, our elected officials seem to be dismissive about these very real health issues.

* It is known that artificial turf causes an increase in player injury due to “turf burns”. Turf has been implicated to be a breeding ground for MRSA, a virulent strain of Staphylococcus bacterium. Turf burns + MRSA = disaster. Due to this particular issue, turf needs to be cleaned with harsh and expensive chemicals that also have harmful effects.

* Temperatures on artificial fields have been documented to be upwards of 86.5 degrees (F) hotter than natural grass fields under identical conditions. For example, at one location, when the natural grass surface temperature was 93.5 degrees (F), the measured artificial field temperature was 180 degrees (F). This presents a plethora of problems such as outgassing which is the release of noxious fumes from the heated up crumb rubber. Serious injuries including heat exhaustion and foot burns have been documented. These incredibly high temperatures necessitate that the fields be hosed down prior to, during, and after each game of play. Does the requirement to have a field-watering system negate some of the projected cost-savings of artificial turf?

Due to the limited testing synthetic turf has been subjected to and because there are so many levels of concern regarding it’s safety on the population that uses this product (children), it is incumbent upon our township officials to act as good stewards of the environment and also as protectors of the health and safety of our community by halting the installation of artificial turf fields in Evesham until further studies prove it’s safety.