Heat island is an area that is significantly hotter than its surrounding areas. Heat islands are bad for a communities because they increase the air temperature their surrounding area; they reduce the effects of nighttime cooling; they contribute to air pollution in the community. According to EPA heat islands “contribute to heat-related deaths and heat-related illnesses such as general discomfort, respiratory difficulties, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and non-fatal heat stroke.”
On a clear sunny day synthetic turf fields in this area gets superheated to between 120-180 F. These temperatures put players at risk of dehydration and heat stroke, and in extreme situations also melting shoes and blisters on arms and legs, .
Coaches and players often have to cancel practice or games on hot days for the safety of the players. Once air temperatures reach 70F, some field managers use water to cool off the synthetic fields. However cooling is temporary.
According to the National Parks and Recreation Association (NPRA) once the temperature reach 80 F coaches must exercise caution in conducting activities on artificial turf.
According to NPRA once temperatures reach 90F, coaches should restrict practice or game times to before 8 am or after 5 pm.
When temperatures reaches 90F-104F school athletic activities are restricted to max 1 hour with water breaks every 20 minutes.
There are extreme cases of heat damage to synthetic fields where the synthetic fields had to be completely replaced.