HELP RAISE THE CITIZENS' VOICE
Decision makers hear from lobbyists and special interests in the artificial turf industry, but not so often from the residents actually playing on these fields.
Make your voice heard! Together our voices are loud and our message difficult to ignore. Please join your friends and neighbors in taking action today to ensure the future of turf fields is covered in potential, not toxic plastic. Another way to effect change is to share information with your friends, neighbors and local organizations. If you are concerned about the unknown impacts of synthetic turf fields, let people know - particularly decision makers. But don't do it alone! Here is a seven step plan to make a difference.
Tips and Templates
1. Share and Connect
FIND AN AREA CHAPTER NEAR YOU:
DO YOU HAVE A SIMILAR GROUP IN YOUR CITY TO ADD TO THE LIST? OR ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BUILDING ONE? CONTACT US!
2. Educate your kids and yourselves
Read the information on and linked to this site and take action. Synthetic turf is not cool, it is hot - deadly hot - and toxic. Real turf is really cool. Don't be fooled. Know the actions you should take anytime you are forced to play on an artificial turf surface with or without shredded waste tire infill.
3. Demand Due Diligence From Decision Makers
Demand due diligence from decision makers in comparing costs & benefits of natural to synthetic turf if your community is slated for a new field. Demand your grass field be properly built and properly maintained before accepting consideration of anything artificial to meet your needs.
4. Require Warning Signs, BEST PRACTICES FOR GRASS FIELDS AND PLANT-BASED INFILL
Residents and environmental groups have been asking for a moratorium on new outdoor installations, at least until independently funded, 'active use' studies are performed. While this outcome would be fabulous, in the interim here are some of the actions SHPFC recommends and active initiatives afoot in Montgomery County Maryland. But you can also ask for:
Adherence to federal recommendations for informational signs to warn users of risks from lead exposure and elevated heat on artificial turf and protect all players and nearby residents.
Criteria be established and followed in best practices for grass field maintenance, and that these minimum requirements be met BEFORE consideration to replace a grass field with any alternative surface.
Requirements to use plant-based infill rather than waste tire infill, Nike-grind or any other non-plant-based infill.
5. File An Unsafe Product Report to CPSC
Take ten minutes to file an 'Unsafe Product Report' to CPSC if you or your child experiences an issue (heat related, physical injury, breathing issues, black pellets getting into the wrong places, etc.) while on a synthetic or artificial turf (AT) surface. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, uses these reports to inform their actions. Your experiences will help justify action to reclassify synthetic turf as a children's product. This will allow regulations for children's products to be applied to products containing AT.
Report each event (such as injury, illness or heat issues) you experience on the field. If a number of people experience the same issue, each should file a separate report. The CPSC says it has few reports on file so informing them on the issue will help elevate the issue. For each unique event, file a new report. Share this information with your neighbors, friends and teammates.
6. Refuse to participate in activities on synthetic turf fields
Refuse to participate in activities held on synthetic turf fields - why not? You won't be alone. Check out this list of other community residents who just say 'NO' to AT and 'YES' to natural grass.
7. Write to your ELECTED OFFICIALS
Write to your legislators to require action; there is strength in numbers. This is the only way to compete with the big money interests of the synthetic turf industry. Write your state legislators and your local officials or school board representatives. Write your Senator or Congressman about your concerns, including the CPSC and EPA inaction.
When writing to legislators, the key is brevity. That is the tough part - boiling down your issue into a succinct list of asks for your audience to act upon. We will continue revising this section to give templates for writing to legislators on various turf related issues, and for communicating with schools about tough choices that need to be made when considering a playing field renovation.