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Health Officials Say [Artificial] Turf Not Health Risk

By Jennifer Connic

A group of parents has expressed concerns that elements in Westport’s new synthetic turf fields could cause illness, but health and town officials say the research does not support the concerns.

The Board of Selectmen will vote on the contracts to install synthetic turf at the Ginny Parker Field Hockey Field and the P.J. Romano Football Field during a meeting on Tuesday at 3 p.m., and representatives from the state Department of Public Health will be on hand to answer questions.

Sue Jacozzi, Westport Weston Health District director, said she and other town officials received information from a group of parents that implies the elements in the turf fields have the potential to be dangerous.

Both local and state health officials, however, do not feel there is enough evidence that the elements in the turf poses a health risk.

“You’d need to heat the rubber to 500 degrees before any of the carcinogens are released,” she said. “No one playing on a field could survive 500 degrees.”

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