Health Board Favors Signs Sharing State’s Turf Guidance

Bid invitations for installation of synthetic turf at Bedford High School’s Sabourin Field are still weeks away, but the Board of Health this week agreed on an addition it wants to see at the complex.

Board member Susan Schwartz reiterated an earlier consensus that signage reflecting the state Department of Public Health’s guidance on the possible hazards associated with the product should be posted at the field.

It’s not clear what the signs will say, since Town Meeting’s approval of the $1.3 million bond financing the turf replacement was conditional on the infill and surface being non-toxic and non-carcinogenic.

Much of the information on the DPH website focuses on infill made from crumb rubber. The health uncertainties related to that material suggest that the bid specifications will exclude it.

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Indeed, after the purchase was approved, Department of Public Works Director David Manugian wrote in an email, “We will include language in the bid documents for non-toxic materials, and to the extent they exist and meet the required 10-year lifespan, we will require them.”

Installation is targeted for May-September, 2025, concurrent with replacement of the track surrounding the field.

Heidi Porter, Director of Health and Human Services for the town, told the board that she will share documents with the DPW, Recreation Department, and Select Board on various products and which ones meet the conditions attached to the town meeting vote.

Maureen Richichi, Health Board chair, said she will continue to monitor research relating to  health concerns connected to materials.

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Tom Devine
April 8, 2024 8:21 pm

Warning signs??? For turf??? Are we getting to this point where we need warning signs for turf? Really? C’mon people, enough is enough. Teach your kids not to eat the pretty fake grass and move on. This is ridiculous. Aye carumba.

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