The American authorities have entered a fight against artificial turf. More and more cities are now abandoning the use of plastic in their parks and are taking action to ban the laying of new mock vegetable carpets in public spaces. Because the cursed grass, which is only green in color, consists of harmful chemicals.
Recently, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu decided to end the practice in her city. In fact, artificial turfs are made with so-called PFAS, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances that have toxic properties, and some are still made with shredded tires that may contain heavy metals, benzene, volatile organic compounds, and other carcinogens.
Not only are they an aesthetic aberration, they’re also an ecological nuisance, releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, discarding microplastics in waterways and helping to create heat islands – a familiar experience on artificial football pitches.
However, with the drought waves that have burned a whole part of the country’s vegetation, the product has seen a resurgence in use, be it in parks or playgrounds. “It seems pretty absurd to put crushed tires in a field where children are playing,” notes Kyla Bennett, a former US Environmental Protection Agency official and science policy director for the NGO Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
In fact, PFAS, which are used in industry to make products more water, stain and heat resistant, do not break down naturally and can cause health problems ranging from liver problems, thyroid, birth and kidney diseases to reduced immunity pass.
However, the preventive measures taken by some municipalities are not for everyone. In Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, the city’s school district is suing the municipality for banning the construction of artificial soil over fears of contaminating a drinking water source.