Replace Crumb Rubber Fields with Natural Grass in RCSD
We, the undersigned, petition the Ramapo Central School District to replace the "Recycled Tire",
also known as "Crumb Rubber" turf fields with natural grass fields. First and foremost, our children's health and safety must be protected and they must not be exposed to the dangerous toxins in synthetic turf fields.
· Crumb rubber infill contains a large number of
chemicals known to be toxic to humans. These include chemicals associated with cancer, asthma, and other adverse health effects. There is no safe threshold level for exposure to carcinogens.
· No existing study disputes the inherent hazard of these chemicals. They simply draw different conclusions regarding the total amount of these chemical exposures to children who are likely to be exposed when they play on the artificial turf fields.
· The exact mixture of chemicals is unknown in any given field containing crumb rubber made from recycled tires. Tires are manufactured with a wide variety of chemicals.
· Fields may contain tires from many different sources, and there is no source of information to identify the exact chemicals and their quantity that are present in any given field. There is no quality control, identification of source, or independent analysis of the contents of the rubber used.
· The number of studies on synthetic turf fields that have attempted to estimate the risk to young students and athletes from the exposures to chemicals contained in the fields are based on a very limited number of actual samples of crumb rubber on a small number of fields most without with any testing of the crumb rubber. There is no study that provides a comprehensive assessment of the risk.
· Children are being exposed on playing fields to rubber known to contain carcinogens and documented to produce cancer in the workers in the tire manufacturing plants.
· There is now strong indication that cancer has appeared in one segment of the student groups that have played on synthetic turf, especially soccer goalies as well as others. There has been no comprehensive assessment of the data on cancer among athletes exposed to crumb rubber from synthetic turf exposures. However, evidence collected to date indicates a basis for concern and an urgent need for closer scrutiny. The ratio of student athletes diagnosed with lymphomas and leukemia is the reverse of that expected in the general population for that age group. Such a reverse in the cancer pattern is considered a signal that an active chemical carcinogen is present.
· Children are a uniquely vulnerable population. They are more susceptible than adults to a variety of environmental hazards due to their typical hand-to-mouth behaviors and immature detoxification systems. Children also take in more contaminants pound for pound than adults and their organ systems undergo rapid development. A toxic exposure during a critical window of development can have life-long consequences. Cancer, in particular, is a disease with long latency: disease can develop many years after exposure. For these reasons, it is particularly important to avoid carcinogenic exposures during childhood.
· The precautionary principle must be exercised to protect our children from these known hazardous substances rather than wait for definitive evidence of harm. The principle says that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, it must first be proven not harmful by those taking an action.