LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Synthetic turf raises health concerns

 To the Editor:

Are you aware of the nationwide health concerns of the use of crumb rubber in synthetic turf fields?

As a landscape architect, lymphoma survivor, and father to an upcoming Williamson County Schools student, I believe it is my responsibility to share my experience.  I presented at the June WCS board meeting (to mostly deaf ears) and continue to advocate for replacement of this unregulated material.       

 A quick Google of ‘crumb rubber’ gives the basics.  Uproar is growing so fast that the EPA & CDC have begun a national study.  Cancer clusters among soccer players blew the whistle a few years ago. Parents are sick of the odor, tire dust on skin and clothes, and the crumbs ‘hitchhiking’ home exposing infants and pets. This stuff is a nightmare brewing.  Hundreds of toxic chemicals go into making tires.  Grinding them up for use as a play surface for our children seems contrary to common sense.       

Brentwood High School will be dumping several tons of the ground up car and truck tires on their new field within the next few weeks. Was there ever any public input or meetings informing parents what their children will be playing on? There are natural infill products available that will eliminate these health concerns. The school board informed me that they had no knowledge of this issue. There have been many national news reports about it! Will you please report on this?

“Our children shouldn’t be the canaries in the coal mine on this one!”

Thank you!

R. Drew Thomas

Franklin, TN

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