photo by Boyd Loving
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, in 2019 the Ridgewood blog reported that the Ridgewood Board of Education voted to again install a rubber crumb based field turf at RHS Field Stadium . In the usual method the Board made its decision without open discussions with residents, vendors ,students and healthcare and environmental professionals. Crumb Rubber fill is basically ground up car tires .
The Ridgewood Board of Education continues to ignore the potential health risks of “Crumb Rubber ” both for the athletes using the fields , the down stream environmental contamination and the higher temperatures .
Maple Field which is also in a flood plain opted for a more eco friendly design , using a coconut based fill . https://theridgewoodblog.net/the-new-maple-field-in-ridgewood-is-ready-for-action/ .
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services , “Synthetic or artificial turf is a surface of man-made fibers and other components which are made to look like natural grass. Since the 1960’s when synthetic turf was introduced, the popularity has grown. Over 12,000 synthetic turf fields are in use within the United States today.
A standard synthetic turf field uses infill materials, such as “crumb rubber,” which is spread between the “grass” fibers to provide cushioning and traction. This crumb rubber consists of shredded rubber particles made from recycled automotive tires often mixed with sand. Crumb rubber from recycled tires contains numerous potential carcinogenic and toxic substances.
In recent years, the use of tire crumb rubber as part of the infill has led to larger public concern for potential health risks.
A flood plain is an area that is subject to natural flooding from an adjoining waterway and according to Synthetic Grass Warehouse ,”There is a misconception when it comes to understanding drainage in synthetic turf products. Just because your turf product says it can drain 30+ inches per hour doesn’t mean your sub-base will. Understanding sub-base materials is very crucial to a successful installation. Most turf installers think they can just cover up bad soils with good drainage soils. Eventually, the underlying soils that are high in clay and/or conglomerates become fully absorbent, then reject excess water intrusion – this is when flooding occurs.”