Allison Aubrey, NPR, August 7, 2008
EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE:
The first evidence of a 'heat island' effect came a few years ago, when Columbia University climate researcher Stuart Gaffin analyzed thermal images generated from NASA satellite maps of New York City... When Gaffin noticed a bunch of hot spots on the maps, he assumed they were rooftops. But he wanted to know for certain.
"So we picked five or six really hot locations in the Bronx and went to visit them, and two turned out to be turf fields" says Gaffin. In retrospect, he says he should have realized that, because they're a perfect sunlight-absorbing system."
He says even without any black rubber added, the plastic blades of grass in synthetic turf trap a lot of heat.
Since crumb-rubber turf absorbs and retains heat, the NYC Health Department report says heat is the primary health concern associated with playing on the fields. It says people can suffer dehydration, heatstroke and thermal burns at field temperatures above 115 degrees.