Monday, June 9, 2014

Premature failure of hundreds of taxpayer funded synthetic turf fields

Dear E. T. Gillen,

Every year, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars gets poured into funding the supply and installation of public high school, municipal and college synthetic turf fields.

All across the country, hundreds of Fieldturf synthetic turf fields are failing prematurely...

The Wall Street Journal ran an important story about these failing fields just a few months ago:

Coincidentally, a report I just saw on another site has a ton of very interesting information on this company and its conduct:

Yet another customer was forced to initiate legal action against the company recently:

And another...

Last week, a school district in Texas announced that it is suing the company. See here:

A customer in Charleston WV is also preparing to sue the company:

Hahnville, Destrehan turf fields are defective, might need replacement:

Please keep the source of this information confidential but please let me know if you require more information.

Kind regards,



Anonymous said...

Here's another issue that we may be forced to deal with down the road.

How do we know if FieldTurf is using re-recycled infill? Will the commissioner be inspecting each and every granual to ensure they meet the Penn State specs?

Anonymous said...

Well, Commissioners, have you seen any evidence to the contrary? Or do you actually consider any evidence? The problem is that the citizens are dealing with a stubborn and ill-informed board that does not care to veer off its intended course, no matter what the merits or reasons.

Anonymous said...


Please read the article that appeared in the Huffington Post regarding artificial turf:

Thank You,

Charlotte Stephenson

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that link, it is very alarming. "While he isn't blaming turf for his own cancer -- and he acknowledges no hard conclusions can be made from his unscientific list -- Zohn said he does worry about today's generation of players, who started playing on the surface at a younger age. Cancer can take years, even decades to develop. So, should synthetic turf prove to be a source of significant toxic exposures, it's possible that the extent of the effects may not appear for several more years."

As an older resident, I'm not too concerned about my exposure to the few times I've been exposed to artificial turf. If I were a parent of young kids just starting out in sports or expectant mother, I'd be greatly concerned with the sports environment I might be creating for my kids.

It could be turf turns out to be found perfectly safe in the future, but what if it isn't? Parents are you willing to roll the dice with your kids future? Are you willing to accept Bendel's word that he hasn't seen any evidence of risk? Will he sit with you should your child become ill?

"A Swedish report found 60 different substances in automobile tires, including plasticizers, carbon black, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and small amounts of heavy metals, such as lead. But tires vary significantly in their composition, which makes it all the more unclear as to what chemicals may be present in the 40,000 ground-up tires that fill the average synthetic field. Even identifying what risks the known chemicals may pose is difficult due to the U.S. government's current 'innocent until proven guilty' regulatory strategy. More than 80,000 chemicals permitted for use in the country have never been fully tested for toxicity to humans, let alone children or fetuses.

Kids tend to spend more time than adults on the ground, accumulating exposures, noted Forman. And a developing child is also generally more vulnerable to toxic chemicals."

For me, I'm not a gambler with my future grand kids health.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the premature failures of turf, there must be countless lawsuits. The one I provide the link to below involves over 100 fields.

Here is what is particularly unsettling from reviewing the lawsuit: even Fieldturf doesn't know exactly what is contained within the product that is eventually put in the ground. The various chemically produced ingredients for these fields are created literally all over the world.

If you are someone that Reads Every and All food Labels (REAL), or shops for local produce, food, etc, then I would think you'd prefer locally grown grass over chemically produced synthetic turf from outside the US that isn't regulated. We also promote our local economy with local growth and care for our fields.

If your grandmother didn't play on it, your kid shouldn't either!

E. T. Gillen said...

I received several emails today from the VP of FieldTurf in Canada. He was not interested in sharing his side of the story in regard to the links published. I was so upset with his emails that I sent emails to the presidents and CEO of FieldTurf. THAT I can share!

"I want to share an email exchange that I had with your VP of Global Marketing, Darren Gill.

I take pride in my community blog and try to post factual information. I received this unprofessional email from your VP after publishing a letter to the editor on my blog. I have offered to post his views about the links that were submitted, but he has refused. I wanted to bring this matter to your attention. I doubt that you would want anyone from your company to submit false information.

If the links presented in the opinion piece are incorrect or outdated as Mr. Gill claims, he has chosen, instead, to attack me. If you have a statement or feel that a clarification is necessary, I would be happy to post it on my blog.

Thank you for your attention.


Elaine Gillen"

I am waiting for your apology, Mr. Gill. It is unfortunate that our community may doing business with someone as unprofessional as you.

E. T. Gillen said...

This just hit the wires, Mr. Gill. Arlington ISD 'turf battle' goes to court Sound familiar? Care to comment, Mr. Gill?
Elaine Gillen

Anonymous said...

In all your RTKs Elaine, has anyone even once mentioned FieldTurf's premature failures or the number of lawsuits?
With all the lawyers, with the Rec Director and Athletic Director not one has mentioned 'I saw this article in my "appropriate trade journal here" that their are a lot of issues with FieldTurf installations'?
It's funny, average residents not involved with athletics, field construction or sports health can dig up damning reports daily, but the paid caretakers of the community don't offer anything in the slightest negative about the product.
You can be sure there won't be any negative question accepted at the $11,000 dog and pony show!

E. T. Gillen said...

5:32 AM, I can't get anyone to admit the premature failure of our own high school turf! Remember how John Grogan and Elaine Cappucci told a resident that everything is just peachy in my May 9, 2014 post? Lebo Citizens photographers shared photos of standing water, holes, and worn spots. The only mention of field failure is on

We have our own premature field failure, but nobody will admit it. Oh, and there is no flooding on Middle and Wildcat fields.

Anonymous said...

People in general, and our commissioners in particular, have become habituated by years of political gamesmanship dominating the culture, to substituting "plausible denials" for acknowledgments of the truth. Here we go again.

E. T. Gillen said...

I guess Mr. Gill was too busy to reply because he dealing with yet another premature failure today...
Maricopa High replacing athletic field
By Ryan Bawek
June 10, 2014 - 10:00 am

Here's another one from just a few weeks ago:
Field turf going long (gone)

Notice the uneven application of the warranty. Palisades School District in PA pays 325k to get their defective field replaced: Fieldturf field replacement discounted offer summary

While in Springtown TX (example above) they pay nothing and in Maricopa AZ they pay 202k.

Anonymous said...

Yet another 2 FieldTurf failures announced today. This time in Columbia, MO: