Vancouver COPE Park Commissioner Loretta Woodcock wants to know if the city’s four
artificial turf fields pose a health hazard to children and adults who play on
the popular all-year fields.


"Vancouver
has four fields with three more being built in the near future," said
Woodcock. "We want to make sure that both former and new synthetic turf
technologies are not a health issue for our sports field users throughout the
city."

Woodcock has asked park board staff to
report back on any issues related to the safety of the synthetic materials that
are used in the construction of Vancouver’s
artificial turf fields. Her request was supported by the entire Board.

Health officials in New Jersey recently closed two artificial
playing fields after finding high levels of lead that could be inhaled by
athletes. Lead chromate is used in the
pigments that make the polyethylene fibres look like grass. The US Consumer Product
Safety Commission is also studying the safety of the plastic fields.

In the Lower Mainland, Burnaby will test its six artificial turf
fields. And Nick Losito of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority will also
carry out tests to see if any toxic materials could be inhaled by players using
the plastic grass surfaces.

"In our wet climate these fields are
very popular," said Woodcock. "But we have to be certain they are
safe."

-30-

COPE Park Commissioner concerned about safety of artificial fields