Tuesday, February 20 from 8-9am. Online.
Artificial turf is favored by those who want the short term ease of maintenance and longer playtime for youth, but it comes with long term consequences for our health and the health of the environment. City of Newton recently approved the replacement of Newton North and Newton South High School artificial turf fields to the protest of environmentalists and health experts. The Mayor has committed funding for a new artificial turf field at Abelmarle. What are the implications for the future?
Join ConcordCAN, as Dr. Kyla Bennett Director of Public Policy at Public Employees for Environmental
Responsibility (PEER), speaks on the environmental and health concerns related to artificial turf. Artificial turf is an impervious surface that blocks the ability to support insects and other organisms, and significantly increases ground temperatures as well as ambient air, thus creating heat islands that exacerbate climate change impacts. In addition, artificial turf is a significant source of plastic pollution as the “grass” fibers are shed and the infill is carried or washed away, contaminating local land and waterways. PFAS–found in the blades and the backing of artificial turf–are not only toxic and carcinogenic, they also do not break down and persist in the environment indefinitely. Finally, it is not possible to recycle the old turf and it is often improperly dumped. Free and open to all.
Recommended is the feature film, Dark Waters, starring Mark Ruffalo as Attorney Rob Bilott, who uncovered one of the worst cases of environmental contamination in modern history. Upon discovering the devastating effects of PFAS (also known as “forever chemicals”) on human health, Bilott forced corporations to be held accountable and still works today to ensure communities are able to protect themselves. The 2019 film is available through various streaming services. Learn more about the movie, the true story behind it, and “forever chemicals” at tinyurl.com/darkwatersmovie.
Headline photo: Discarded turf material at Newton South High School awaits transportation to disposal facility in July 2023.