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December 29, 2015- The NYT is reporting on a study that indicates artificial turf field, like the one being installed without any public input at the West Thames field, increase the rates of concussions and head injuries.
NYT, “A new report compiled by the Concussion Legacy Foundation called attention to the link between head injuries and poorly maintained fields, especially the growing number of those made of synthetic turf. The foundation urged groundskeepers, athletic directors and sports associations to treat their fields as seriously as other protective sports equipment.
The number of synthetic fields has grown to more than 12,000 nationally, and about 1,500 fields were installed this year, according to the Synthetic Turf Council.
“Artificial fields are still sold as maintenance-free — you put it down, you don’t worry about it — but honestly, they’re hardly being maintained at all,” said Dr. John Sorochan, co-director of the Center for Athletic Field Safety at the University of Tennessee. “People put in the fields because they don’t want to budget for it once they’ve got it.”
Few athletic directors and groundskeepers are willing to admit that they do not properly care for their fields because it may open them up to a lawsuit or void their warranty, which is typically eight years, according to industry experts. But Gary Hover, the former director of parks and facilities in California who now owns a turf maintenance company, said that he had seen fields that were rarely maintained.”