Green Grounds: Unraveling the Truth About Synthetic Turf's Environmental Impact
In response to recent discussions in CalMatters, the Synthetic Turf Council (STC) seeks to clarify misconceptions about synthetic turf—highlighting its safety and environmental benefits in California and beyond.
Local Legislation and Synthetic Turf Choices
The article suggests that recent legislative changes are a setback for synthetic turf. However, SB 676, signed by Governor Newsom, simply restores the power to localities to choose appropriate landscaping options, including synthetic turf, thus promoting a balanced approach to drought-resilient and sustainable environments [STC].
Addressing Chemical Concerns
Concerns about PFAS chemicals in synthetic turf are acknowledged by the STC, which has committed to eradicating intentionally added PFAS in their products by 2024. This forward-looking pledge aligns with the industry's dedication to product safety and environmental stewardship. Testing by our suppliers show no detectable PFAS. [STC].
Debunking Environmental Threats
Research on the environmental impact of artificial turf, particularly regarding recyclability and toxin presence, is ongoing. The STC is engaging with regulatory bodies to refine testing methods for accurate results, ensuring transparency and safety in their products [STC].
The Reality of PFAS and Microplastics
PFAS chemicals, often highlighted as a risk in synthetic turf, are widespread in many consumer products. The STC emphasizes that this is a broader environmental issue, and their products are just a fraction of the PFAS conversation. Moreover, using crumb rubber as turf infill has been endorsed by government agencies, dismissing the claims that it poses significant risks to groundwater. The STC has taken additional measures to address concerns by ensuring that rubber is no longer used on residential projects. [STC].
Heat Mitigation and Water Conservation
The STC acknowledges that synthetic turf can retain heat but notes that simple solutions such as brief watering can significantly reduce surface temperature. Additionally, the water conservation benefits of synthetic turf are substantial, saving significant amounts of water annually compared to natural grass, which requires constant maintenance [STC].
Synthetic Turf Council. "Setting the Record Straight: What a recent story in CalMatters fails to cover regarding synthetic turf, its safety, and its environmental impact." STC, November 2, 2023.
LEGISLATIVE TRACKER BY STATE
STC continues to partner with Penta Group for support in public affairs and to develop and maintain its state legislation tracker and alert system to cover the progress of bills nationally, with a particular focus on the target states of California
- We continue to monitor reactions to and media coverage of the passage of SB676 and veto of AB1423, including reactions to the CalMatters story. For this story, we developed the above point-by-point "Setting The Record Straight" (STRS) document that we will use as we engage reporters proactively who have been covering these issues.
- As a proactive approach, STC is placing an op-ed piece to promote the environmental benefits of synthetic turf systems in a California publication, factoring in where we may expect the more serious local threats.
- Our state lobbyists are continuing to provide us with on-the-ground updates and are looking into ways to leverage their networks to monitor for any movement at the city and county level for regulations on turf.
- We continue to monitor and share information/materials with DTSC as they examine chemical designations that could impact turf.