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Montgomery County Asked to Investigate Turf Fields | News

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Montgomery County Asked to Investigate Turf Fields

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA) The Western Montgomery County Citizen's Advisory Board is asking Montgomery County officials to the safety, health, environmental and financial impacts of artificial turf.

"We've had citizens come to us with questions and the board was not able to take a position," said Sue Knapp, chairman of the MCCAB. "We voted to ask the county to look into it."

Most recently a new turf field has been installed at Walter Johnson High School.

Concern about artificial turf fields dates to 2007, when several fields in New Jersey and New York were taken out of commission because of lead contamination.

Since then, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission determined that children are not at risk from exposure to lead on the fields.

Much of the concern centers on the crumbled rubber base in the fields, which is made of shredded tires. The material has been found to contain a number of contaminants including lead and arsenic.

County school and recreation officials have been supporters of artificial turf because it reduces maintenance cost and can handle much heavier use than grass.

A letter from the Western Montgomery County Citizen's Advisory board asks the county to collaborate with government agencies like the EPA to conduct a review.

"As the county continues to study the effects of artificial turf fields, we encourage them to keep in mind specific concerns raised by members of the community to the CAB," according to the letter..