GreenPlay costs

Hi all,

I found out that at the most, GreenPlay would most likely cost $75K more per field than crumb rubber.  I have more information about the cost difference between GreenPlay and SBR (crumb rubber), including initial installation, maintenance and removal.  It sounds very comparable, considering all of these factors, since there is no removal cost for GreenPlay.

5 thoughts on “GreenPlay costs

  1. I am the person who manages Gilman as well as Gabes and I have been involved in playing field management for over 20 years. I was president of ACCYSL, am chairperson of ASFU, built both Fielding, Gabes and did the conceptual design and well as the turf specs at Gilman when it was first installed and I played on Gilman for many years. I have been following the infill issue for the past ten years and have read many of the research studies on the materials. I am as concerned as you are about the safety of the infill material.

    ASFU, which has 12,000 member athletes, holds a meeting twice a year with all of the user groups who use Gilman. In April of 2016 the group discussed various infill alternatives to crumb rubber which pretty much comes down to cork or polycoated rubber- also known as Greenplay if purchased from Fieldturf. Cork will cost about $300k more because it requires a pad. Greenplay adds $100k. The group chose Greenplay for both cost as well as functional reasons and recommended this to the city. We had no user groups that were opposed to this choice.

    How many of you reading this have also read the multiple studies that have been done on crumb rubber? If you are concerned about the safety of crumb rubber- which studies have you read that make a link between crumb rubber and safety? Not the anecdotal story about the goalkeeper coach in Seattle but real research?

    After reading most of the research and talking with people who have done multiple field installs and could care less whether you buy cork or crumb rubber from them- I don’t share the concern about crumb rubber and safety. Neither did SF Parks and Recreation when they put in th new fields at Beach Chalet- probably the most environmentally examined and litigated Bay Area field project in the past 20 years.

    Without getting deep into the technical issues of why crumb rubber (crumb rubber=carcinogenic materials=off gassing=cancer) is causing concern- from a practical perspective Gilman has none of the elements (mostly heat) that might cause me concern. Because of Gilman location it never heats up (unlike a field in Danville) and it is subject to a constant wind, thus any off gassing is quickly dissapated. As for ingestion, I played goalie twice a week for six years. I can’t ever recall spitting out crumb rubber.

    The reason we suggested polycoat or Greenplay was that it would encapsulate the crumb rubber and thus should address the issues being raised by concerned parents. Manish Doshi who helps run the Spurs and has devoted his life to working with children supported the polycoat decision. Toney Wright who runs the largest youth soccer program in the area supported the polycoat decision, Dianne Delaney who is field rep for the Mavericks supported the decision, as did the people running every other youth sports program.

    There is no downside to cork- other than its cost over poly which is substantial. If spending a lot more was going to result in a safer field, we would have pushed for that. We just didn’t feel that a substantially more expensive cork field would be any safer.

    I am happy to discuss this in more detail, share research info, etc. If you or a group of you is interested. I can be reached at doug.fielding@companion-group.com

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  2. Hi Doug, Thank you for your thoughtful comment. However, I feel compelled to let you know that the health concern is actually very real. My son is asthmatic and the fields at Gilman would trigger his asthma every time he played. He loves soccer, but when he was put on a competitive team a few years ago and found out that all practices were on the turf, he made a very difficult choice to not join the team because it wasn’t worth having to take an entire nebulizer of albuterol just to play soccer. He tries to limit his exposure as much as possible. There are a number of health concerns including carcinogens and I have no doubt that one can find research to support either side, but for me it isn’t just research but real-life experiences. However, I think it is hard to contest the particulate matter that is associated with crumb rubber. I did just one quick google search and found this link and even going back as far as 200 when concerns were just staying, toxicology reports discuss the inhalation exposure. I suppose one could argue that it doesn’t matter if it is only making those with asthma sick, but if asthmatics react immediately, imagine what the cumulation of particulate matter is doing to all of the healthy kids whose lungs. I think health should be the #1 priority of the community and would urge you to expand your body of research. Thank you for listening!

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  3. Hi Doug,

    Which Greenplay are you referring to? We are interested in an infill called GreenPlay USA. It is made of coconut fibers and cork. We have talked to a number of local coaches who are using it and they really like it. It is very durable and does not need much irrigation. Additionally, it has excellent G-Max ratings.

    Here is an article that explains our concerns.
    http://www.toxipedia.org/display/toxipedia/Crumb+Rubber
    It is listed on our Resources Page of this website, along with other articles. We have more articles to post as well.

    In addition to what Rachella explained about her son, I have talked to parents who say that they cannot be on the crumb rubber, due to headaches from the exposure of the chemicals in the material.

    thanks for your concern.

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  4. OK so let’s talk about what you have written.

    First the asthmatic child. The assumption is that crumb rubber is the cause of your sons asthma attacks- how could it not be given that when he plays on Gilman artificials (I assume) he experiences breathing issues but when he plays on grass- he does not.

    When we were building the fields at Gabes we got deep into this issue of air quality because at the time the air quality at Gabes was measured at above EPA and state standards for PM 10 and 2.5. I am assuming you know what I am talking about when I refer to these numbers. However experientially we knew that we had no issues with asthmatic responses at Fielding (same air quality) but asthmatic responses at King Field were not uncommon. How could this be?

    It turned out that the reason for the asthmatic attacks at King was that it was surrounded by a clay track. On windy days small particles of the clay, PM 2.5, would be picked up by the wind and inhaled by susceptible children.

    Gilman is the most windy of the fields in the area. The area to the west of the field is every bit as dusty, if not more so than King. So as the winds come off the bay in the afternoon they pick up this dust and blow it not only across the artificials but also the grass fields.

    What a shame for the community to spend an extra $300,000 only to find out that the crumb rubber had nothing to do with the problem.

    There should be a relatively easy way to examine this question. If crumb rubber is the problem then susceptible children playing on the artificials should be experiencing asthmatic attacks while children playing on the grass fields at Gilman should not. Can you reach out to the asthmatic community and find out? I don’t know how often your son has these attacks but if it’s 100% on the artificials and 0% when he plays on the grass at Gilman- that’s another clear indicator. But if he is also having attacks when he plays on the grass at Gilman- then the crumb rubber is not the cause.

    Next- the toxic website. There really isn’t any debate about whether tires are made of some materials that are carcinogenic. The toxic website goes into great detail about that. The problem is that there is no research linking the use of this material to health issues- NONE that I am aware of. However there are over 90 studies showing no correlation between crumb rubber and health issues. 90 vs 0. It’s pretty overwhelming.

    We are again stuck with causality. There are so many products you use on a daily basis that have carcinogenic (or other equally bad chemicals) materials it’s hard to know where to start. That BPA free water bottle your soccer playing child drinks from- are you aware that it turns out that the new BPA free plastic has been discovered to also have carcinogenic properties? What about the plastics in the shoes you wear every day?

    It’s not so simple as a straight line. Rubber=carcinogens=cancer. That’s the approach that fits your preconceived notions. What is your answer to the many scientists who have done the research and found no correlation? This includes independent research done at UC as well as other researchers who specialize in chemical science? Google Cal Recycles. Read the report. They are just one of many.

    Then argue with the science. Point out the flaws in the research. That this or that political body found it easier to say no than deal with the controversy shouldn’t surprise anyone. We are talking about politicians- not science.

    As for Greenplay that contains coconut husks- do the research. You will find that coconut husks degrade relatively rapidly. If you want to push for a proper product- push for cork.

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  5. One last comment. We are not recommending that the normal crumb rubber that is of concern be used. The infill material we are suggesting uses a virgin poly that coats the rubber. This eliminates the off gassing and eliminates any contact with the carcinogens that are in the rubber. Perhaps this is a material that would meet both our needs of safety and cost control. I have been out of the country for the past three weeks so I am a little internet challenged. I think it would be useful for us to meet so we can discuss the issue. I am back in the US on Friday. Contact me through my email if you want to meet

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