Connecticut Group Calls for Moratorium on Installing Synthetic Turf Fields

A Connecticut non-profit group, Environment and Human Health, Inc., has recommended that a moratorium be placed on new fields or playgrounds that use ground-up rubber tires:

There is enough information now concerning the potential health effects from chemicals emanating from rubber tire crumbs to place a moratorium on installing any new fields or playgrounds that use ground-up rubber tires until additional research is undertaken.

The full report can be viewed here.  In short, the group recommends that additional research must be taken to study the potential health risks of exposure to ground-up tires.  Athletic Management has also offered its perspective on the use of synthetic turf from the perspective of an athletic director.

At this point, it appears that the health risks from playing on turf are minimal, although not entirely clear.  The issue is now being studied with significant intensity by a variety of parties, including the federal government, various states, environmental groups and the turf industry itself.  At present, the legal issues facing the turf companies are likely limited to whether these fields are deemed unsuitable for play and must be replaced.  Accordingly, various warranty, breach of contract and other actions could be brought against the turf companies.  However, should someone attribute an illness to exposure to materials on such fields, a new group of product liability claims could arise.

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