Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Do Synthetic Fields Cause Global Warming?

Synthetic fields are all the rage, but opponents in Massachusetts are lining up against the surfaces in the name of global warming.

Several high schools in the state are considering installing artificial surfaces, but Newton attorney Guive Mirfendereski is critical of synthetic fields, which are made of polyethylene fibers simulating grass stabilized with rubber pellets.

Mirfendereski tells the Boston Globe that the surface gives off much more heat than grass and — if used widely — could contribute to global warming. He also expressed concern that the materials used to make and clean the turf could leach into local water supplies. Mirfendereski also questioned how the turf would be disposed of once it wears out.

"Any one of these on its own poses a danger to the environment and public health," Mirfendereski wrote in a letter last month to the state environmental secretary. Massachusetts officials have yet to take a position on the issue.

Darren Gill, a marketing director for FieldTurf, acknowledged that turf is "a little warmer than grass," but said the surface does not contribute to global warming. He also said runoff from the field is not a concern and likened the products used to clean it to household fabric softener.

"Nothing we put on the field has any harmful materials in it," Gill said.

FieldTurf is most popular in the Mid-American Conference, where eight of the league's members will play on the surface this fall.

Thanks to Gary of Steroid Nation.

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