Letter: Turf opposition is folly

To the Editors:
While the assembled crowd at Monday’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting to discuss Wilton Youth Football’s application to gift a state-of-the-art turf field to the town was strongly in favor of the project, a preponderance of the discussion against the project revolved around the safety of artificial turf fields.
One “expert” declared that artificial turf fields cannot be considered safe. During his argument he rejected scores of scientific studies that say the opposite, including studies completed by the CT Department of Public Health, the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the University of Connecticut, New York City, New York State and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency while relying on a study that was rejected in peer review as invalid and on a report of disease in female soccer goalkeepers where he declared statistical significance to figures collected outside any type of scientific study, some of which he estimated and some of which were made up. This is lunacy.
Thousands upon thousands of artificial turf fields are in use all over the country and the world. The Wilton Planning and Zoning Commission, with the full support of the Board of Education and the town, years ago installed two artificial turf fields used daily by students at Cider Mill and the high school, as well as thousands of youth and adult athletes from multiple leagues across Fairfield County. Yet we continue to debate and allow a vocal few opponents to use stalling tactics to delay and obfuscate for their personal benefit at the expense of the will of the vast majority.
If the health of the youth of the town is at risk why are these vocal few, who as far as I can tell have no children using these fields, not demanding that the town rip out and replace the two toxic artificial turf fields that are endangering other people’s children every day? Why don’t they demand that our youth football and field hockey teams withdraw from competition since every game they play when visiting other towns takes place on a toxic field? Why not? Because these so-called health issues are a smoke screen used to further their anti-development interests. Everyone knows this.
Let’s hope the Planning and Zoning Commission can see it too, and make the right decision to spend other people’s money for the benefit of the town.
James G. Andersen
5 Forge Road, July 14