A new artificial turf field is going to become a reality in Mission and those who had concerns over possible health issues can rest a little easier.
Mission council has decided to spend some extra money to use a plastic alternative for the artificial turf infill, rather than crumb rubber which is more commonly used.
Crumb rubber is made from recycled tires and many people believe it is a carcinogenic that poses a health risk.
While there is no definitive proof that crumb rubber is unsafe, the Environmental Protection Agency has launched a study into the health and environmental impacts of the product.
“It’s pretty clear that I’m not at all in favour of installing crumb rubber because there are concerns out there,” said Mayor Randy Hawes.
“It’s not a risk we should be taking. I would not want, and I’m sure no one else on council wants, to put kids at risk.”
Council has decided to proceed with the artificial turf using the more expensive infill made of thermoplastic elastomer. It is considered to be a high performance infill with no health concerns.
Council has approved two contracts in order to construct the new surface. Cedar Crest Lands of Langley has been awarded $1.48 million to construct the field, lighting, furnishings, goal posts, landscaping and other work at Mission Rotary Sports Park.
Astroturf West Distributors of Vancouver has been awarded a contract worth $778,000 to supply and install the 50 mm synthetic turf.
Both contracts exclude GST.
Despite going with the more expensive option for infill, the field construction is still within the approved budget of $2.9 million. The field is expected to be complete by the fall.