Weigh environmental impact of artificial turf vs. grass

Letter to the editor

November 28, 2011

I've read several accounts of the proposed artificial turf fields for the county high schools. None has addressed the possible adverse environmental impact of the product, especially when spread across several county high school fields. It isn't necessarily something we should automatically promote.

From what I've read about artificial turf, it not only poses a higher risk of injury to the kids who play on it than natural turf, it can leach carcinogens into the local ground water, and long-term, even costs more to maintain. Its production contributes greenhouse gases, and the turf eventually ends up in our landfills. Artificial turf gets hotter than natural, and does nothing to support wildlife.

I realize that natural turf has its own environmental impact, mainly from mowing and fertilizing. It's important that there be an independent study to reveal whether artificial or natural would be less damaging and less harmful to our kids, our budget, and our environmental health.

Cindy Sweigard

Ellicott City

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