Some parents oppose new synthetic turf fields in North Haven

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — North Haven is building two synthetic turf fields at the town’s middle school. Some parents are opposed to their construction, and are speaking out. They acknowledge that the kids need new fields, but they are worried about the chemicals in the crumb rubber infill and the impact it’ll have on the kids’ health. Crumb rubber is made from old tires.

“There have been multiple studies that have found carcinogens and lung irritants within the material,” said Amanda Gabriele, a North Haven parent opposed to the construction of the crumb rubber fields.

Related Content: Town of North Haven holds meeting about installing new turf fields

The group, called North Haven Against Shredded Tire Infill, or NHASTI, has started a website. It also has an online petition with more than 200 signatures. However, residents who want those fields to be built have started one of their own.

The town’s Board of Selectmen already voted not to go forward with a referendum at an emotional town meeting this past spring. Mayor Michael Freda says overturning that decision would be an abuse of his power.

Related Content: Sen. Blumenthal to push funding for playground safety investigation

There would be petitions back and forth to overturn decisions that are made for town meetings for referendums back and forth. At some point our government has to make a decision.”

Some residents like the synthetic turf fields. They say the fields need less maintenance, are cheaper, and can withstand bad weather better. Many don’t believe there are any credible studies linking them to health hazards.

“As a coach I’m very comfortable with it,” said North Haven resident Bernard Pellegrino. “As a parent I’m comfortable with it.”

Related Content: Senator Blumenthal advocates for crumb rubber research

Some parents believe there are better options for their kids, and they want to make their voices heard.

“I hope that we can sit down at the table in a cordial manner and come up with a solution that is cost effective and safe,” said North Haven resident and parent Chandra Prasad.

The town says kids won’t be required to use crumb rubber fields at school; there are grass fields they can use instead.

Related Content: Hamden battle over artificial turf

Parents opposing the fields’ construction are planning on attending Thursday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s