December 30, 2008

City Shuts Field Over Lead Concern

By Sewell Chan
New York Times
Dec. 24, 2008

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation closed a soccer field in East Harlem last week and promised to test nearly 100 other play fields after preliminary tests indicated unusually high levels of lead in the rubber turf used in the field, at Thomas Jefferson Park. The test results are the latest chapter in an ongoing controversy over whether artificial turf fields used in playgrounds are safe.

The soccer field in East Harlem was one of about 98 park or recreation areas throughout the city to use a kind of artificial turf known as crumb-rubber infill, made from pulverized tires. The city’s public advocate, Betsy Gotbaum, has questioned the safety of artificial turf, and on Tuesday reiterated her call for an “immediate moratorium” on its use.

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