Study highlights hazards of synthetic plastic grass

In “Global evaluation of the chemical hazard of recycled tire crumb rubber employed on worldwide synthetic turf football pitches,” a study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment in March 2022, a team of researchers in Europe sheds light on the serious health and environmental hazards plastic grass poses. With research spanning 17 countries and 4 continents, the scientists show plastic grass creates microplastic pollution and contains toxic compounds such as PAHs, plasticizers, and vulcanizers, with some of the more than 90 fields sampled showing levels of dangerous PAH exceeding the European Chemicals Agency’s set exposure limits. They identify plastic grass as an emerging environmental contaminant that may best be replaced by cork or potentially other natural nontoxic materials.