December 17, 2017

New Meadows field proves safe for students and athletes

The Manhattan Beach Unified School District and MBX officially presented the West Field to the public on Nov. 1 which is located on the northwest corner of Mira Costa’s campus and will be used by teams such as football, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, marching band and for some track and field events. There have been recent health concerns about carcinogens in the materials used in the field, according to Mira Costa Boys Lacrosse Coach Aaron Karsh; however, the new field is safe, as MBX and MBUSD thoroughly researched the safety of students who utilize the field, keeping the student’s well-being in mind.

The new field contains Diamond Series turf from the company AstroTurf. The turf is specific for baseball, Coastline Construction Management’s Owners Representative Johnnie Morgan said. The construction of the field included organic and environmentally friendly products such as Zeolite and GreenPlay, both of which are made of ground-up coconut shells and cork, which reduce the heat gain of the field as compared to the average turf product. The new turf also helps prevent or reduce potential for injury, especially to an athlete’s head, by making the surface less impactful and less dangerous, Morgan said. Ensuring that student safety is prioritized is beneficial for Costa sports teams and individual students because it will be ensured that student health is prioritized and are less likely to receive injuries.

The new field’s infill is different than the traditional rubber infill which has raised recent health concerns, Karsh said. The field uses natural material in order to ensure student health and safety. Furthermore, the components of the new turf have not been known to cause cancer; they do not contain crumb black rubber, which does contain carcinogenic chemicals, once again making sure students are not being harmed. Thus, it is favorable that the new turf is free of crumb black rubber so that athletes can safely practice on the field without fear that the turf will cause health complications.

AstroTurf is one of the largest turf companies in the world, and they use only safe products in the production of their fields and in the use of recommended infills, Morgan  and The New York Times said. Several quality checks are performed during the manufacturing process, according to AstroTurf Incorporated. Therefore, it is clear that Costa chose a high quality manufacturer in order to make sure that students are able to practice on safe turf, as evident through the in-depth process of ensuring the quality of the manufacturing of the turf, which will help ensure the quality of the turf and field in which the students that utilize the new Meadows field.

According to AstroTurf Inc., the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks ensures that AstroTurf uses no rubber, yields cooler surface temperatures, requires no water to maintain alternative infill integrity or warranty support, and can work for a year, as well as reduce maintenance needs. Once again, it is evident that both AstroTurf, MBX and the district ensured that all who utilize this facility’s health and well-being are guaranteed whilst making decisions regarding the new field; to ensure students  will not be harmed while playing on the new field.

Although there were concerns in regards to the new field’s materials, it is apparent that all of the materials present in the field are proven to be healthy and safe for all of the sports teams who plan to use the field.

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