Green Synthetic Lawn

You’ve seen the homes with artificial turf.

They’re generally the ones with the well-manicured “grass” that looks just a little unnatural.

Nonetheless, artificial turf has grown in popularity because it is low-maintenance and, over time, cost effective. But a new report from the Children’s Health Defense raises the alarm about the risk that artificial grass can pose to your health.

The report, citing an investigation by The Philadelphia Inquirer, said “forever chemicals” have been found on the artificial turf that was installed at the old Veterans Stadium, the former home of the Philadelphia Phillies. (The team has played at Citizens Bank Park since April 2004, which has natural grass.)

The paper looked into the grass after the recent deaths of six former players on the team from a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer.

Two of the paper’s investigative reporters took samples of the old turf to Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories Environmental Testing and found some samples contained 16 different kinds of these “forever chemicals,” which are otherwise known as PFAS.

TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has been reporting extensively on “forever chemicals” and their deleterious impact on public health, and yet the vast majority of the public is completely ignorant to these health risks. (See “U.S. SUBMERGED IN ‘FOREVER CHEMICALS’ IN DRINKING WATER, D.C. LYING ABOUT IT” 18 Apr 2023, “CHIPMAKERS: WE NEED ‘FOREVER CHEMICALS’ FOREVER. WE DON’T CARE IF THEY KILL YOU”28 Mar 2023, and “THINK COVID WILL KILL YOU? DRINK ‘FOREVER CHEMICALS’ FROM YOUR TAP” 21 Mar 2023.) 

There are more than 4,700 types of these chemicals and they are found in the bloodstreams of 99 percent of Americans and can cause cancers, heart issues, and liver disease. These chemicals stay in the bloodstream for a lifetime. 

Analysis published in Environmental Health Perspectives said scientists believe that these chemicals can lead to health problems like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

These chemicals have been found on every corner of the earth and have been used for decades in food packaging, carpeting, fire-fighting foam, and some clothing.

The Report 

David Gambacorta, a reporter from The Inquirer, said in an interview with CNN that David West’s death last year caught his attention because the former pitcher was the sixth former Philly to die from brain cancer. (The other players to die from the disease were Tug McGraw, Ken Brett, Johnny Oates, John Vukovich, and Darren Daulton.)

“We were able to track down pieces of the AstroTurf that covered the field at Veterans Stadium in the late 1970s and early 80s, and we had them tested by two different labs. One of the labs found 16 different types of PFAs, which are another name for forever chemicals,” he said.

Jake Tapper, the CNN host, noted that Philadelphia Eagles also played on that turf, and none of those players came down with the same cancer. Gambacrota noted that the Phillies played on the turf in the summer when the turf would sometimes heat up to 165 degrees.

“And some of the experts that we consulted with explained that would sort of allow some of the toxins in the turf to release and become airborne, so that’s one possible mode of transmission that we considered,” he told the network.

TRENDPOST: There is an ongoing fight between “forever chemicals” and corporate profits, which is why the removal of these toxins from drinking water and the environment is still not a top priority. 

David Sirota, the journalist, spoke with the reporters from the paper about their findings and recalled the time as a child when he would go to a Phillies game on the Fourth of July and marvel at the fireworks. But he also remembered standing on the grass and thinking to himself: “Wow, this stuff that looks all green and kind of nice on TV and from the stands is actually incredibly awful.”

He continued, “This is about how corporations and politicians allowed the proliferation of toxic chemicals into nearly every corner of American life and into all of our bodies, potentially poisoning entire generations.”

The Children’s Health Defense report noted that professional sports are moving away from artificial turf, but athlete’s fields and children’s playgrounds have increased their use dramatically over time. 

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