Read the full article by Tom Perkins (The Guardian)
“Boston’s mayor, Michelle Wu, has ordered no new artificial turf to be installed in city parks, making Boston the largest municipality in a small but growing number around the nation to limit use of the product because it contains dangerous chemicals.
All artificial turf is made with toxic PFAS compounds and some is still produced with ground-up tires that can contain heavy metals, benzene, VOCs and other carcinogens that can present a health threat. The material also emits high levels of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and sheds microplastics and other chemicals into waterways.
‘We already know there are toxic chemicals in the products, so why would we continue to utilize them and have children roll around on them when we have a safe alternative, which is natural grass?’ asked Sarah Evans, an environmental health professor for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Beyond chemical risks, the fields can act as heat islands that increase playing field temperatures to as much as 93C (200F), Evans noted. National Football League players are pressuring the league to ban artificial turf because of injuries, while the US national soccer teams will only play on natural grass for the same reason.
The federal government estimates 12,000 synthetic turf fields exist in the US, and at least 1,200 more are installed annually. Proponents say they are easier to maintain than grass fields and are not prone to ‘flooding’, though they do also require significant maintenance. The product is also increasingly used on playgrounds or as alternatives to lawns in drought-plagued regions.
But in recent years, municipalities have begun limiting their use via bans or moratoriums, including at least four in Massachusetts before Boston, two in California’s Bay Area and several in Connecticut.” …