Letter to the editor from Real Grass for Healthy Kids – Arthur Yee MD, Jude Braunstein, Liane Tel, Susan Rudolph and Warren Silver
There is a well-known saying that “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” In that spirit, we need to set the record straight regarding a comment made by Mr. Fred Camillo at the environment discussion on September 9 at the Greenwich Point Conservancy.
When asked about artificial turf fields, Mr. Camillo said as part of his response, “The EPA put out a report this summer that shows that the harmful effects (of turf) are starting to dissipate and it’s going in the right direction I would tell everybody to keep an open mind. Natural grass, you always want to be first with that, but I won’t close my mind to the turfs because right now that’s starting to evolve.” – “Camillo, Oberlander talk environment, energy at Greenwich Point forum” By Ken Borsuk Published 12:03 pm EDT, Tuesday, September 10, 2019
The characterization of the EPA report is inaccurate. The report being referred to is not a health risk assessment and should not be relied upon for that purpose. The report released this summer is Part 1 of the Federal Research Action Plan on Recycled Tire Crumb Used on Playing Fields. The report itself states that [their bold] “This report is not a risk assessment, nor can the information be used to identify a level above which health effects could occur.”
It goes on to say, “Only Part 1 is being released today. Part 2 is to be released at a later date. When combined, Part 1and Part 2 will not constitute a risk assessment.” https://www.epa.gov/chemical-research/july-2019-report-tire-crumb-rubber-characterization-0
As the community continues its discussions about artificial turf at Middle Schools, we must be careful both in stating information as well as in interpreting the scientific findings.
Real Grass for Healthy Kids
Arthur Yee, MD