Kyla Bennett is the director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and a former wetlands enforcement coordinator for the Environmental Protection Agency. Bennett said that in addition to being a source of greenhouse gas emissions, artificial turf contains many different toxic chemicals that put the health of athletes in danger. Many of these chemicals are not in natural turf.
“There are all sorts of awful chemicals in here,” Bennett said. “There are PAHs [a class of chemicals that occur naturally in fossil fuels] and all sorts of metals, particularly lead. There are volatile organic compounds, carbon black, which is incredibly scary, styrene, [and] all sorts of carcinogens and flame retardants. The blades themselves have very, very toxic chemicals.”