Safe Gilman Turf FAQ
Who are we?
We are a group of concerned parents of soccer players exposed to crumb rubber infill at the Gilman Fields in Berkeley, California. Because we discovered the City of Berkeley will be replacing the Gilman turf field, we’d like to take this great opportunity to consider alternatives to recycled tire (rubber crumbs) which might pose health risk for our kids and have a negative environment impact.
What do we want and why?
We want to be assured the Gilman field turf replacement will include safe materials, such as cork and coconut fibers instead of using the current crumb rubber. There are serious health concerns about the carcinogens present in the Crumb Rubber infill. The EPA is currently in the middle of a two year study that should conclude in later 2017. Anecdotal evidence indicates that gasses given off by the pellets, especially in hot weather, are dangerous to developing nervous systems, and people with asthma or compromised immune systems are especially affected. Some statistics show that goalies especially are more vulnerable to developing blood cancers such as Hodgkins Lymphoma. Some states have already started removing and replacing the crumb rubber with other, less dangerous materials.
We found a safe natural alternative to the commonly used tire pellets for soccer turf fields called GreenPlay http://www.greenplayusa.com/ Some other Bay Area soccer fields are already using this or other safe infill alternatives in the East Bay, on the peninsula and in San Francisco.
Who pays for this?
There is a fund for Fiscal Year 2018/2019 for $1,200,000.00 associated to the project “Gilman- Artificial Turf Replacements”. The status appears to be in the “planning” stage.
When will the turf replacement take place?
The turf replacement will likely take place in late 2017 and early 2018.