“Another push is underway at the state level to end subsidies for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and other county school systems or agencies that install synthetic turf playing fields instead of maintaining natural grass fields, fields which do not off-gas carcinogenic material or whose surface temperatures do not exceed 150 degrees on hot days as do artificial turf fields. Dr. Kathleen Michels, a neuroscientist, parent and member of our coalition Safe Healthy Playing Fields testified recently that it’s no secret that the world is “drowning in plastic and it’s related toxins.” Michels pointed out that “no amount of ‘recycling’ can or will solve the problem. “The answer to an overflowing bathtub is to TURN OFF the TAP. Then mop it up,” said Michels.
To that end, the coalition supports an end to subsidies for plastic synthetic turf sports fields and playgrounds. We also support efforts to regulate their disposal so that hundreds of tons of disintegrating plastic and tire crumb from each one of these fields does not end up dumped in local woodlands or wetlands. Many plastics, including synthetic playing fields, are manufactured with the PFAS class of toxic, “forever chemicals” that now pollute our drinking water and soil. PFAS (Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) are in Vortex jackets, Scotch Guard carpets, and non-stick pans like Teflon. The EPA recently released its delayed Nationwide PEER and PFAs action plan, and it falls far short of what is needed to protect communities. Linda Birnbaum, former head of the NIH National Toxicology Program, was banned last month from telling the public PFAs cause multiple health problems.
PEER, (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) recently joined our efforts to ban subsidies for synthetic turf and regulate their disposal. It said tests by the Ecology Center, a nonprofit in Michigan, found a marker chemical that suggests PFAs are present in the blades of fake grass used in artificial turf.”
Read the PEER Story…