From Rebecca MacLachlan, resident of our city.
Bravo for Mayor Drew and 5 council members for voting to support the health of our children by removing language from a referendum that would allow for artificial turf playing fields. And, our heartfelt thanks to Councilwoman Mary Bartolotta, who proposed that the referendum specifically be for natural grass playing fields only. Deb Kleckowski, Hope Kasper, Bob Santangelo and James Streeto all voted in favor of keeping toxic plastic artificial grass out of our referendum and out of our children’s sports fields. The referendum that will go before the voters this November represents a better health choice for our children and community.
This is a big step forward for the health of our children and our environment, but we still need to maintain our fields organically without the use of chemicals and pesticides. There have been numerous studies that link many of the pesticides and chemicals put on grass fields to increased risk of asthma, several types cancers, birth defects, reproductive problems, nervous and immune system disorders, liver and kidney damage. Studies have recently shown that even ambient exposure to pesticides has been found to considerably increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Our neighbors in Branford and Cheshire have been successfully maintaining their fields organically for over 8 years. We should follow suit!
We all want to improve our playing fields, but playing sports should be a healthy outlet and not played on fields that can make our kids sick. Support for this referendum, as well as our continued work to go organic, deserves a big yes vote in November.