Facts or fears


To the Editor:
At the Martha’s Vineyard Commission meeting on March 4, toxicology was the focus. The MVC hired Horsley Witten, an environmental firm, to inspect the products used in the proposed turf field, the carpet, the underlying shock pad, and various glues used to build the field. Horsley Witten subcontracted the testing to a very well-respected laboratory, Tetra Tech. Both Horsley Witten and Tetra Tech concluded that the synthetic turf field was safe for our student athletes to come into contact with, and the products tested cleaner for the environment than the existing grass fields at the high school.

The applicant’s expert, Laura Green, also addressed the test results. Green received her doctorate from MIT, and is a board-certified toxicologist who has been hired as an expert by both the federal EPA and the Massachusetts EPA.

Green’s presentation addressed the results, and concurred with the MVC experts that the proposed turf field was safe and environmentally clean. Her final statement is summarized below.

  • Thousands of synthetic turf sports field systems worldwide
  • 12,000 such field systems in U.S. and Canada
  • 50,000 such field systems in Europe
  • Thousands more in Taiwan, Japan, Australia …
  • There has been no evidence of harm to athletes’ health

The opponents of the proposed project presented their expert, Kristen Mello. Ms. Mello is a college graduate with a master’s degree. She presented no facts to the MVC in her argument against the project, rather listed a number or irrational fears of what could happen, or what if we don’t know, or what if we find out in the future.

The real question before the MVC commissioners is simple: Do we listen to the facts concerning the project, or will we be swayed by unsubstantiated fears?

The findings of Tetra Tech’s analysis of the turf products can be found at bit.ly/MVCTetraTech. Please look at the fact; our kids deserve a safe, healthy field.

Terry Donahue