"Turf Fields May Have ‘Forever Chemicals.’ Should Kids Be Playing On Them?"

"The three 6-year-old girls stood on the sidelines as their coach swabbed their hands. Then they ran onto a lush green turf field and played soccer for 90 minutes straight — no stepping off the pitch. This wasn’t just a practice. It was part of a small experiment conducted in the suburban foothills of San Diego last summer.

Salar Parvini, 44, the children’s assistant soccer coach, swabbed his hands too, and shipped the samples taken before and after the practice to a lab in Lancaster, Pa. There, scientists would test them for “forever chemicals,” also known as PFAS, a broad class of man-made chemicals linked with a variety of health concerns, from high cholesterol to cancer.

Parvini and his players, all members of the San Diego Surf soccer club, are among the earliest test subjects in emerging research focused on whether the PFAS in artificial turf pose a meaningful health risk, especially to children, whose developing bodies are particularly susceptible to toxic chemicals.

Debates about artificial turf are happening at school boards, city council meetings and town halls in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, California and other states. On one side are some scientists and turf critics who say the presence of PFAS in turf is worrisome, given what is already known about the toxic effects of the chemicals."

Teddy Amenabar reports for the Washington Post March 12, 2024.

Source: Washington Post, 03/15/2024