The health and safety of a child are of the utmost importance to any parent.
That’s why this Redditor turned to the r/ScienceBasedParenting community when they had a question about artificial turf.
“Artificial Grass scheduled for installation this week. Is it safe for the little one?” they asked.
The original poster explained that they had paid $500 upfront for the $5,000 installation of fake grass and had another upcoming $2,000 payment due.
They already xeriscaped part of their yard with native plants but wanted a designated play area for their 1-year-old child. They also ruled out real grass because they live in Las Vegas and said, “the amount of water needed makes it also environmentally irresponsible.”
However, after doing a little research about the harmful effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in artificial turf, the user was a bit wary of proceeding.
“How much of a risk is this really for the baby if it isn’t using the rubber pellet infill?” they questioned.
For one, PFAS are known as forever chemicals since they don’t naturally degrade in the environment or the human body. They have been linked to a wide array of adverse health effects, and while more research is needed, several studies have associated PFAS with certain types of cancer.
A hazardous effect of fake grass that is a bit more tangible is the ease at which it can overheat. According to one research paper, turf can reach temperatures up to 162 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to 98 degrees for natural grass under the same circumstances.
While the OP noted they were planning on putting up a tent to manage the heat and avoiding crumb rubber infill, the comment section provided plenty of other potential hazards of artificial turf.
“I wouldn’t. PFAS are terrible yeah but there’s also a ton of newer literature on micro plastics causing issues in humans. If it’s bad for the environment it’s probably not great for us either,” one user chimed in.
“No. It isn’t safe. There is a reason schools and parks are removing it. There is even an ongoing lawsuit linking it to cancer. It’s also bad for the environment and water supply,” another commented.
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