Saturday, May 30, 2015

Guest Post: Somerset Elementary Parents, School and Board of Education Please Reconsider!

Heat reading of 167 degrees on MCPS Artificial Turf
Somerset parents, school and Board of Education please reconsider!

See and for more information.

The Montgomery County Council has banned the use of toxin laden waste-tire-crumb infill and has required plant based infill on county synturf fields. But, the Board of Education has not acted on, and MCPS is not bound by, this important Montgomery County Council action.

The plastic itself is a problem- the coloring often contains the toxic heavy metal, lead (for which there is no safe level of exposure for children) and heats up to 125-170 deg F. on warm sunny days, when grass is as cool or cooler than the air temperature making recess a painful proposition.

The growing concern about links to cancer clusters among young adults who were frequent child users of artificial turf fields, especially those like soccer goalies who spend the most time on or close to the surface of the waste- tire-crumb infilled plastic fields, should raise concern for all.

For less than half the stated cost a cool, healthy, durable well draining, state of the art natural grass field can be installed with plenty of funds left over for many years of maintenance. Whereas, there will be little or no money for the important health and durability related maintenance of the artificial turf!

Please don't put children's short and long term health at risk out of ignorance. Plus, where will you get the half million dollars to dispose and replace the plastic and tire crumb field with a new field in 8 years?  Most synturf fields barely last that long and many less, especially if not maintained well which most aren't!

Kathleen Michels


  1. People who like turf fields must hate special ed kids!

  2. No. They want to CREATE special ed kids by advocating toxic playing fields.

    1. Can you please explain yourself?

  3. Lead in Montgomery County and MCPS artificial turf fields. It's not lead free.

    From: Riley, Mike
    Sent: Monday, February 04, 2013 4:53 PM

    Subject: RE: Artificial turf
    Ms. Sartucci:
    I offer the following response to your questions.
    In 2009, Montgomery Parks had the turf fibers at the synthetic turf field at Blair High School tested for lead because it had been reported that elevated levels of lead were discovered in the turf fibers of several State of New Jersey synthetic turf fields. The testing was performed at the laboratory of EMSL Analytical in Westmont, New Jersey. The test results are noted below.
    In 2011, an interagency workgroup delivered a report to the Montgomery County Council titled “A Review of Benefits and Issues Associated with Natural and Artificial Turf Rectangular Playing Fields”. One of the recommendations of that report was that Parks and MCPS should explore incorporating some of the testing requirements identified in the City of San Francisco’s synthetic turf specification. Parks did incorporate many of those requirements in the specification for the Wheaton Sports Pavilion, which was recently opened. The specification called for lab tests for lead in all the components of the synthetic turf including underlayment, backing, turf fiber, and infill. The infill used at the Wheaton Sports Pavilion is a product called “NIKE GRIND” which is comprised of components of recycled tennis shoes. The testing was done by Analytical Industrial Research Laboratories in Cleveland, Tennessee.
    The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) publishes “Cleanup Standards for Soil and Groundwater”. These standards have been developed to represent concentration levels at which no further remedial action would be required at a property based upon the risk posed by hazardous substances to human health. Parks used MDE’s “Residential Cleanup Standard” to set its maximum acceptable standard for lead. That standard is 400 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg). Milligrams per kilogram is also sometimes expressed as parts per million. In evaluating the test results, it is important to note that it has been reported by the United States Geological Society that the average concentration of lead in naturally occurring surface soils of the eastern United States is 14mg/kg.
    The result for the lead in the turf fibers at Blair High School was <0.98mg/kg. This means the lead content was less than the lowest limit of analytical detection of 0.98mg/kg.
    For the Wheaton Sports Pavilion, the maximum lead result on any component was 8.88 mg/kg, found in the NIKE GRIND infill. As this result was far less than the threshold of 400 mg/kg established by MDE, and less than found in typical eastern U.S. surface soils, Parks accepted the materials.
    I trust this answers your questions.

  4. How much more lead in turf fields than natural earth? Also, does turf expose children to more lead than the lead in the water pipes in MCPS schools?


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