Artificial Turf:  A Safer Choice?


By Ellen Rubin

What Exactly is  Artificial Turf?

Artificial turf is currently in its third iteration. The first artificial grass-like product was made by Chemstrand, a subsidiary of Monsanto, in the mid 1960’s.

The Early Days of Artificial Turf

It reached public awareness when it was installed in the newly built Houston Astrodome in 1966-67.

Chemical Composition & the 90s’ Turf Boom

Turf was ready for the stadium building boom of the 1990s, using a dual fiber blend with some nylon blades included for strength and longer durability.

Injuries in Sport

Knee injuries are among the most serious and frequent injuries associated with turf. There are countless others as well.

The Issue of Heat

Turf is hot. Whereas grass can absorb a great deal of heat and will actually cool the surroundings, artificial turf has a relatively much lower specific heat capacity.

Toxic Components of Artifical Turf

Whether you are vegan or a carnivore, you will ultimately be eating these microplastics in every bite of your food and every drink you take.

Lack of Regulation and Scientific Study

Even though toxic chemicals are present, most Western nations haven’t regulated their use in artificial turf even when they are regulated in other types of products.

Additional Considerations

The plastics, crumb rubber infill, and all their attendant chemicals, can leach into the nearby soil and groundwater. This bareful scratches the surface of total issues.

The Issues are Numerous

Turf offers a hard, inert product with its many sub-layers which release chemicals that harm the environment and sheds microplastics that are leaching into the soil and our water supplies. It increases erosion and promotes flash flooding.

Read more on Artificial Turf: Impacts on Environment and Human Health

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