Tribune ace photographer John Byrne’s action shot in this newspaper was pretty, ugly, and pretty ugly.
At first glance, it looked like a plague of dark locusts rising above an otherwise green field. Some poor lout driving a tractor-like contraption was breathing it all in without so much as a bandana.
“A FieldTurf employee steers a machine to scrape the artificial turf on one of the multi-purpose fields at Golden Eagle Regional Park,” stated the caption.
The work was part of reconditioning the imitation grass “to distribute the rubber infill material evenly and remove debris and broken fibers,” the Tribune reported on Nov. 10.
Artificial turf contains crumb rubber to fill space between grass blades. I inquired if any Sparks parks have turf with any content made from recycled tires or any similar material.
City spokesman Adam Mayberry confirmed “crumb rubber is used,” noting “some kind of special process (is) used in the process of recycling and cleaning of the material before it goes on the fields. Golden Eagle Regional Park has more than 1.4 million square feet of artificial turf.”
Sparks bought it in 2007. A web search for “artificial turf tires carcinogens asthma” brought 11,200 returns.
The legal website ClassAction.org noted: “According to the EPA, tires contain lead and a number of other potentially hazardous substances, leading many to believe that artificial turf products may also contain the same dangerous compounds and materials found in automobile and truck tires.”
Last September, Yale University researchers “released a report revealing chemicals used in synthetic turf fields and rubber tire mulch used as surfacing material in toddler playgrounds. According to the report, the study revealed nearly 100 chemicals were found in the 14 samples they analyzed. The study also revealed 11 carcinogens in the turf samples, as well as 20 known skin irritants.” (Connecticut WTNH TV-8, 9-3-2015)
“‘I knew there were heavy metals in them but I never expected 96 chemicals,” Nancy Alderman, president of Environment and Human Health, Inc., a nonprofit organization that commissioned the Yale study, told WTNH.
“Alderman says half of those chemicals have not been tested by the government, so it’s not clear if they’re safe,” WTNH reported.
“When you’re exposed to more than one low level carcinogen, then it becomes very toxic,” she said.
We’ve seen this movie. Industry develops a product and denies any health effects as unproven. Until they are.
Any level of lead can be harmful to kids, so now parents have more than concussions to worry about.
Golden Eagle’s warranty expires next year.
I strongly recommend this new-fangled invention called grass.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Barbed wire was patented 24 November, 1874, a quarter-century before the first Barbanos immigrated from Italy.
GREAT SCOTT. Former Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans President Scott Watts survived heart surgery but remains in Carson-Tahoe Hospital. His condition is improving. Please continue e-mailing greetings, which I’ll forward. Thanks.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 47-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com where references may be accessed. E-mail <email@example.com>. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.