Noxious fumes at Church Square Park

Church Square Park in Hoboken reeks like toxic fumes

Questionable Hoboken Moments Church Square Park Toxic smellRemember late last year we were wondering why Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer held a “ribbon cutting” over at Church Square Park – in the cold, dead winter? When the park wasn’t even complete yet?

I believe I’ve figured out why.

Because if were held on a warm, sunny spring day – those in attendance would be coughing and wheezing from the toxic smell of the artificially-surfaced park!

During last weeks mini “heat wave,” I immediately noticed how AWFUL the park smelled on a sunny 80-degree day. My conclusion was that it was rubberized surface that protects kids from ever experiencing a skinned knee (which most of us consider a rite of passage to adulthood). Now instead of a little nick or bruise, we’ll have pampered nincompoops who never experience a little hurt, and the suffering, healing, and patience that comes along with it. And as a bonus, they’ll get to experience awful chemical smells instead of fresh cut grass and blooming flowers.

I can only imagine this on the hotter days later this year.

But this is nothing new in Hoboken. Just ask the residents uptown near 14th & Willow, who have been complaining about the toxic smells coming from a nearby construction project for a year. Only to have their concerns fall on the deaf ears of politicians like Peter Cunningham and the like.

Toxic Church Square Park in Hoboken NJ artificial surface

11 Responses

  1. Hoboken Teach says:

    I spend more time in that park with my school than anyone I know. I’m there for hours each day. I was there both days last week when it was especially warm. I haven’t noticed any kind of toxic smell or fumes.

    • Andrews says:

      Maybe you don’t notice it because you’re there so much the fumes have thrown your senses off. I don’t walk by there often, but I absolutely noticed the foreign smell last week too. Maybe it isn’t toxic, but it certainly wasn’t a natural smell that belonged in a park. [quote comment=”220446″]I spend more time in that park with my school than anyone I know. I’m there for hours each day. I was there both days last week when it was especially warm. I haven’t noticed any kind of toxic smell or fumes.[/quote]

      • joey maxim says:

        well contrare ,to other complainnts this is a first…soft tops have been abound for quite a while.. something to bitch about is not uncommen..the injurjed kid needed medicical care for a long time…soft tops have been around for a long time..guess it’s bitch time as long as it’s not our kids..[quote comment=”220450″]Maybe you don’t notice it because you’re there so much the fumes have thrown your senses off. I don’t walk by there often, but I absolutely noticed the foreign smell last week too. Maybe it isn’t toxic, but it certainly wasn’t a natural smell that belonged in a park.[/quote]

      • HomeTeam says:

        You have really fat fingers, don’t you?[quote comment=”220452″]well contrare ,to other complainnts this is a first…soft tops have been abound for quite a while.. something to bitch about is not uncommen..the injurjed kid needed medicical care for a long time…soft tops have been around for a long time..guess it’s bitch time as long as it’s not our kids..[/quote]

      • joey maxim says:

        fat fingers? soft tops have been around quite a while and are there to ease tramaic head injurys..better fat fingers than a fat head or cracked skull..btw the toxic fumes should be brought to the attention of the installers .who laid down the soft asphalt..That should be brought to the attention of the city councel. Best bet stay out of that park until the situation is corrected..if one feels there health is in danger..[quote comment=”220453″]You have really fat fingers, don’t you?[/quote]

  2. joey maxim says:

    that’s a two fold complaint..years ago a kid fell off a teeter totter aka seesaw and received a skull fracture..most parks today have that rubberized surfice..If there is an oder then the installers should check the area out.. I guess 6 of one half dozen of another.
    better safe than sorry.

  3. YouStayCl@ssyHoboken says:

    Maybe that’s the argument against a public swimming pool, too… chlorine, toxic fumes… when men were men in Hudson County, kids swam in the Hudson and Passaic–we turned out just fine. Who needs newfangled recreational facilities?

    • briank says:

      Good stuff Youstayclassy! I am one of those who think many people go too far with some of this child protection stuff (I am the father of two young girls), but in today’s litigious society it is the right move installing that stuff.
      On a separate note, why is 411 suddenly so concerned about the kids? It seems like every story always slips in a crack about kids or moms (see the Elysian story today), but now all of sudden we have a new playground that people are enjoying and 411 is trying to knock it by worrying about the kids. [quote comment=”220455″]Maybe that’s the argument against a public swimming pool, too… chlorine, toxic fumes… when men were men in Hudson County, kids swam in the Hudson and Passaic–we turned out just fine. Who needs newfangled recreational facilities?[/quote]

      • YouStayCl@ssyHoboken says:

        Hey briank, I’m in a similar boat. I think if the city were overly concerned about litigation, they would have selected a much simpler installation of equipment (or none at all). With that type of challenging stuff, and with the kid traffic the park sees, the rubber surface seems appropriate–and the smell is maybe similar to a new pair of chuck taylors. Parents were laying out on it, etc.[quote comment=”220474″]Good stuff Youstayclassy! I am one of those who think many people go too far with some of this child protection stuff (I am the father of two young girls), but in today’s litigious society it is the right move installing that stuff.On a separate note, why is 411 suddenly so concerned about the kids? It seems like every story always slips in a crack about kids or moms (see the Elysian story today), but now all of sudden we have a new playground that people are enjoying and 411 is trying to knock it by worrying about the kids.[/quote]

  4. h4sbilc says:

    I would say that two days of warm weather is not enough to draw conclusions that this park will forever emit “toxic fumes.” Many plastic & rubber items emit harmless odors when first opened/used.

    It was the first time the surface really was warmed since it was installed, and therefore the first time the surface had a chance to expand (which would release whatever odors were trapped). I would imagine that over the course of a week or two of warm weather, the smell will dissipate.

    I could be wrong, of course. But either way I would say we shouldn’t jump to conclusions and demand they rip up the park after 2 smelly days. Lets see what happens the next time its really warm and give it a few months.

  5. Oldehickory says:

    I agree that protecting children breeds nincompoops! Bring back polio!

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