TURF SCARES Part II


P3021246_1 This past week a story was posted on the web that supposedly linked the new infill systems that are sand based to staph infections and health issues. Many facilities have installed these fields around the country.  Its the turf that looks like real grass.  (San Juan Bithorn stadium is a sand based system and I am pretty sure Minnesota, Toronto and Tampa Bay have the same turf)

Several NFL stadiums use this type of turf and many many more parks and colleges have also recently installed the new type of grass due to its similarities of natural turf and the improvement over the original Astro Turf product that was very hard. 

Before you go crazy about your children and teams playing on these fields you should check and weigh all the sources.

1. The synthetic turf industry is a very competitive market and each synthetic turf provider  uses all the angles they can to make there product look a little better than others. (Kind of like the carpet industry.)

2. This is just one study probably payed for by a turf provider. 

3. Is there a reason for concern…yes.  But if you recall, when we heard cell phones could possibly cause cancer…. did we immediately stop using them…no.  My wife still yells at me when I open the micro-wave door before it turns off because of the potential radiation leaks! Do I believe her…yes! The question is how much radiation am I receiving that could cause me to have a health problem associated with radiation?

I am sure the turf article will spark a rash of other studies on the new synthetic turfs. I prefer natural grass but at the same time I also understand these new products are rather new(8-years in MLB) here in the states and many people are just seeing and playing on them for the first time. Domes around the world and fields up north have found these turfs to be the best and sometimes only choice. 

Here is the article for those who care to check it out but don’t draw any final conclusions until we hear more data on the issue.

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/03-15-2006/0004321097&EDATE

In addition to this article a recent Athletic Turf Industry newsletter added the following:

Editor’s Note: Recently, media outlets have stepped up coverage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreaks here and abroad. The flurry of recent coverage may have been sparked by the March 6 publication of a research study of MRSA in an Atlanta hospital that showed 72 percent of the patients had MRSA or antibiotic resistant staph infections ("Emergence of Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus …," Annals of Internal Medicine, March 7, 2006). In February, the British Medical Association made international headlines by advising British doctors to stop wearing ties because they may spread the "super bug" MRSA which caused 22% more deaths in the UK last year than the year before. There have been no media reports that we can find showing any student or professional athlete has contracted MRSA from synthetic or natural turf.]

Again I’m a natural turf guy at heart …but we need more information on this issue before drawing any final conclusions. 

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