Boston bans artificial turf in parks due to toxic ‘permanent chemicals’ | PFAS

Boston Mayor, Michelle Wu, has Command There is no new artificial turf to be installed in city parks, making Boston the largest municipality in a small but growing number across the country to reduce product use because it contains dangerous chemicals.

All artificial grass is made of toxic materials PFAS Vehicles, some of which are still produced with ground tires, can contain heavy metals, benzene, volatile organic compounds and other carcinogens that can pose a health threat. The material also emits high levels of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and dumps microplastics and other chemicals into waterways.

“We already know there are toxic chemicals in products, so why do we keep using them and make kids roll on them when we have a safe alternative, which is natural grass?” asked Sarah Evans, MD, professor of environmental health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Far from chemical hazards, Evans noted, the fields can act as heat islands increasing stadium temperatures to 93 degrees Celsius (200 Fahrenheit). National Football League players are Press on the league To ban artificial turf due to injuries, while the US national football teams will do Play only on natural grass for the same reason.

The federal government estimates that there are 12,000 artificial turf fields in the United States, 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,” although they also require significant upkeep. The product is also increasingly being used on playgrounds or as alternatives to lawns in drought-prone regions.

But in recent years, municipalities have begun to limit their use by ban or postponement, including at least four in Massachusetts before boston, two in California Gulf area and several in Connecticut.

In a statement to The Guardian, a Wu spokesperson said: “The city prefers playing on grass surfaces where possible and will not install play surfaces with forward-moving PFAS chemicals.”

Elsewhere, there are battles over proposed artificial fields playing outside. On Martha’s Vineyard, School District sue The city to prevent the creation of an artificial field due to concerns about contamination of the aquifer from which the city draws its drinking water. Meanwhile, voters in Malden, just north of Boston, may settle down A heated debate on a proposed synthetic field.

In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, city officials thought they had ordered a PFAS-free artificial turf field, but it was later tested open They contain high levels of chemicals. A statewide proposal to ban artificial turf recently failed in Massachusetts, and public health advocates and lawmakers in another state plan to propose a ban on the material, though they declined to say on record which state the proposal is until the proposal is made.

Artificial turf is made up of several layers including plastic turf blades, a plastic backing that holds the blades in place and a filler that weights the turf and helps the blades stand upright. Until recently, padding was always made with recycled rubber tires called crumb rubber. However, independent and EPA Test The substance was found to contain high levels of dangerous chemicals.

“It seems counterintuitive to put floor tires in a field where children are playing,” said Keila Bennett, a former EPA official and director of science policy at Public Officials for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Some companies have started using cork as a filler, but the industry has said that blades of grass and backing can’t be made without PFAS.

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of about 12,000 chemicals often used to make products resistant to water, stains, and heat. They are called “forever chemicals” because they do not break down naturally, and are linked to cancer, liver problems, thyroid problems, birth defects, kidney disease, lowered immunity and other serious health problems.

PFAS can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled, swallowed, or got into open wounds as it separates from the plastic blades, and children are considered more vulnerable because they are smaller and their bodies are still developing.

Some manufacturers have claimed that the amount of PFAS used in artificial turf is not high enough to be dangerous, or that they are using “safe” PFAS. The Artificial Turf Council, an industry trade group, said in a statement to Guardian.

Evans said no studies have been completed on how PFAS or other chemicals pass from artificial turf to children, so the industry doesn’t know if it’s safe. Furthermore, the fields are among the myriad of potential daily exposures to PFAS in consumer products, food and water, Evans said.

Public health advocates note that all PFAS studied have been found to accumulate in the environment and to be toxic to humans, and once in the environment, the “safe” compounds used in manufacturing degrade into unsafe chemicals.

a test multiple Synthetic fields have found the presence of highly toxic compounds of PFAS such as 6:2 FTOH and PFOS. The Environmental Protection Agency recently revised its health advisory on PFOS to state that virtually no level of exposure in drinking water is safe.

“It is only a matter of time before [artificial turf] Bennett said. “In a few years we will be asking, ‘How on earth did we allow this to happen?’ “

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