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Prioritizing Children's Health: removal of turf at Hillview

From: domainremoved <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2017 12:32:29 -0800

Dear Menlo Park City Council and Senior Staff,
I am writing you as a concerned parent in Menlo Park City School District and community leader of various public health and safety initiatives throughout San Mateo County. First of all, thank you for all of the excellent work you all do! I received word from Jen Sweeney, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission, that there is an urgent need to prioritize the replacement of artificial turf fields at Hillview Middle School and Kelly Park. I strongly support a shifting of resources to prioritize this replacement immediately, given the nature of health concerns facing our young children, especially those who are inadvertently ingesting, inhaling, and coming into frequent contact with the crumb rubber inside these fields. As you know, various studies are underway at the state and federal level to further investigate crumb rubber, but mounting evidence around the country and reputable studies (Yale, 2015, link below) points to a tremendously likely connection between toxicity, human disease, and artificial turf exposure. Here are just two of many examples of strong evidence and concern from reputable physicians and scientists:


Dr. Philip Landigran, Dean of Global Health at New York’s Mt. Sinai Hospital

“Children go to playgrounds almost daily. And gifted athletes are on the soccer field almost every day. That sort of cumulative exposure results in a buildup in their body of these toxic chemicals, and can result in a buildup of cellular damage that’s caused by these chemicals, that can then result in disease years or decades later. Little children should not be put in a situation where they’re forced to be in intimate contact with carcinogenic chemicals”.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/artificial-turf-debate/rubber-mulch-safe-surface-your-childs-playground-n258586 <http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/artificial-turf-debate/rubber-mulch-safe-surface-your-childs-playground-n258586>
Summary of Studies (including Yale, 2015) of Toxic Chemicals in Crumb Rubber of Artificial turf

http://www.toxipedia.org/display/toxipedia/Crumb+Rubber <http://www.toxipedia.org/display/toxipedia/Crumb+Rubber>

The story referenced in Jen Sweeney’s email below of several girls on one elite soccer team (that practices on artificial turf) all getting cancer is an upsetting one to process. As Jen Sweeney so eloquently put it, “It seems that the city is following the approach of assuming the product is safe and then allowing the research to disprove that assumption. In the interest of protecting our children, I would think we would want assurances that the product is safe BEFORE we subject our kids to it.” We’ve already received ample warning that the product may very well not be safe. Please act now.

Many of my daughters’ close and beloved friends are active and enthusiastic soccer players. I can’t stomach the thought of these girls being exposed to such toxic materials as they play out much of their childhood on the local soccer fields. It’s not fair to them, and it’s not OK to wait. Given what we already know, we must seek creative ways to delay other projects so that we prioritize our children’s health. There are other options than crumb rubber with the same usability that we can use instead.

Please do not delay the right decision as we await further reports. Our children can’t afford to wait for the removal of likely carcinogens in their immediate play environments. Thank you.



Angela Sherry Evans

Parent, two children at MPCSD

Bachelor of Science, Environmental Science and Economics, Stanford University

MBA, Stanford Graduate School of Business

10+ years Board Member, Stanford Women’s Honors Society

Contributing Author, Stanford School of Medicine Sean Parker Allergy Center
Received on Fri Jan 27 2017 - 12:35:44 PST

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