Read the full article from Jeff McMenemy (Portsmouth Herald)

“Grassroots group Non Toxic Portsmouth is claiming PFAS chemicals have contaminated ‘the turf, shock pad and backing’ of the city’s new artificial turf field.

Portsmouth city officials counter unequivocally that the fields have been independently tested for PFAS chemicals and there is simply no evidence of them in the field materials.

In an unpublished op-ed and statements submitted to the Portsmouth Herald, Non Toxic Portsmouth leaders assert independent test results conducted on parts of the turf field “clearly indicate the presence of PFAS.”

The test results shared by Non Toxic Portsmouth don’t show any PFAS in the samples that were tested, but instead show positive tests for fluorine between 16 parts per million and 199 parts per million.

Graham Peaslee, a professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame who works with Non Toxic Portsmouth, contends the presence of fluorine in the test results is indicative of PFAS being in the turf.

City: Field is safe and PFAS free

But city staff counter that Non Toxic Portsmouth’s contention that fluorine in the samples means the field is contaminated with PFAS is just plain wrong.

‘At this point the city has every reason to believe that the field is a safe and great recreational resource,’ said Suzanne Woodland, the city’s acting deputy city manager and deputy city attorney.

She also added in a statement released in response to questions that the new turf field located near Community Campus is ‘PFAS free.’

‘Mr. Jankowski refers to test results for fluorine and not the PFAS chemicals that have been the subject of studies, testing and regulation,’ Woodland said. ‘The city contracted for a PFAS-free turf field, and nothing in the results we have reviewed from Mr. Jankowski’s testing efforts suggests otherwise.’

She pointed out that the contractor on the project had to verify that all the products they used in the turf field were PFAS free.

Plus, the city’s engineering consultants on the project, Weston & Sampson, stated that they required the field turf contractor, FieldTurf, to prove the field components were PFAS free through laboratory testing ‘for each of the components of the synthetic turf system.’

‘FieldTurf provided this information and … the testing for each of the turf components indicated that all PFAS compounds were Not Detected above method detection limits,’ Marie Rudiman, a senior risk assessor/toxicologist for Weston & Sampson, said in a memo prepared in response to Non Toxic Portsmouth’s press release/op ed.”…