Health and Safety

 

We take the health and safety of our athletes and our students very seriously.  

For that reason, the building committee for this project did extensive research to determine the best playing surface for the Stadium Field.  Many options were explored, including natural grass.  Synthetic turf with an Envirofill infill has been chosen as the best and safest option for Shrewsbury.  On November 9, 2016, the Shrewsbury School Committee unanimously approved this project in a 5-0 vote.  

 

Some have raised concerns that playing on synthetic turf exposes athletes to extreme temperatures and cancer causing toxins.  These claims are primarily associated with a crumb rubber infill; that is not the infill product we have chosen for Shrewsbury.  Studies to date do not show any type of elevated risk from playing on synthetic turf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The infill on the new Stadium Field will be Envirofill, an acrylic coated sand.  Specifically, Envirofill:

 

  • Will not compact over time, thereby giving our athletes firm support and shock absorption for the lifespan of the field
  • Has 75% less fly out (infill migration during play) than crumb rubber, meaning it will not stick to athlete’s skin or clothing
  • Maintains a cooler surface, up to 25% cooler than traditional crumb rubber
  • Is environmentally friendly, with no leaching of (loss of) the coating and it can be reused for two field lifecycles
  • Offers us a 16-year warranty, double the warranty of most infill products on the market today

 

For more information about the safety of artificial turf and the Envirofill product, refer to these documents:

 

MA Department of Public Health FAQs on Artificial Turf Fields

Federal Research on Recycled Tire Crumb Used on Playing Fields

USG Environfill Product Overview 

Envirofill Lab Test Results 

Alternative Infill Comparison 

 

There have been some concerns about drinking water being affected by the installation of turf fields.  According to Catherine Hamilton, DEP Drinking Water Program/Boston, “DEP does not identify artificial turf to be a threat to drinking water quality”.  See Mass DEP Well Head Protection Regulations document for more information.

we took safety concerns very seriously.....virtually every component...of these [components of a turf field] has been subjected to a standard.  There have been outside agencies, third parties, that have provided chemical testing and other tests on these items and have provided reassuring information and …with regard to the environmental toxicology program at the MDPH, (Mass Dept of Public Health)  Consumer Product Safety Commission information, the NY and CT Depts of Public Health, reviewing the items we’ve had, contacting TURI (Toxics Use Reduction Institute,) I feel that we have a very reasonable amount of information to attest to the safety of almost every component in the turf fields. ..we’ve looked at the shock pads, we’ve looked at the carpets and we’ve looked at the infill.  

Dr. Dale Magee, Vice Chairperson School Committee, Physician, Nov 9, 2016 School Committee Meeting

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