A judge ruled that an Illinois park district can go ahead with the installation of synthetic turf at a local park after she found that the plaintiffs opposed to the synthetic turf didn’t provide enough evidence that the turf is a health risk.
Protect Glen Ellyn Parks Inc, a nonprofit group formed by local residents, sued the town in an attempt to halt the installation of a synthetic turf athletic field at Newton Park.
In its lawsuit, the group alleges that the crumb rubber infill used in synthetic field contains a number of harmful chemicals that could be spread around the community and potentially end up in the DuPage River, situated near the park.
Judge Bonnie Wheaton ruled that the group’s health concerns were based on speculation and conjecture rather than evidence, and that the group failed to prove that the fields would cause irreparable harm.
The Glen Ellyn Park District responded to the lawsuit by filing its “Answer and a Memorandum of Law.” This document cited a number of studies that found that synthetic turf does not pose any health concerns. According to the district, regulatory bodies “performed and reviewed the substantial research on synthetic fields.” The regulatory bodies include health departments in California, Connecticut and New York and they found that there were no health concerns.
Additionally, the district decided to upgrade the infill and chose a cryogenic product that should minimize the chance that the sand or rubber infill will move from the field due to water or wind.
Unless any weather complications arise, the synthetic turf will be laid in the park during the third week of July.