Is Hoboken’s “Astroturf” toxic?
Our recently installed synthetic turf over at Church Square Park has been much debated over the past few months. City Officials saying it’s more economical and easier to maintain, and residents saying it’s too hot and shouldn’t belong in our sorely lacking areas of open space.
Add another point of debate to this: Is our synthetic turf TOXIC?
Making news lately is the fact that many of these artificial surfaces, while better, softer and more “realistic” than “astroturf” of old, may contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The rubber pellets that give the bouncy feel are made from recycled tires.
A recent study of NYC’s 77 parks containing these artificial surfaces found that six of the 15 known PAHs that have been deemed carcinogenic to humans were present in the city’s parks: benzo(a) anthracene, chrysene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(k) fluoranthene, and dibenzo(a,h)anthracene.
Additionally, it was discovered that these chemicals can leach into the surrounding water and soil, as well be “gassed off” and inhaled, especially during the hot summer days, where surface temperature can reach 140 degrees. Additional studies were conducted on ingesting and touching of these hazardous chemicals.
Do our parks have similar properties to the troublesome parks in NYC? Has anyone tested? Will anyone test?
Inquiring minds want to know.