According to a report from Nathan Baca from WUSA9, environmental scientist Jeff Gearhart collected blades of fake grass from sports fields at D.C. public parks to see if they potentially contain harmful chemicals. His lab, the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, tested similar artificial blades near Boston, and found those sports fields did contain otentially harmful chemicals called PFAS.

“We don’t know the exact environmental fate of the PFAS chemicals that we’re seeing in the synthetic turf,” Gearhart said. “But we know broadly that PFAS chemistry has been associated with a wide variety of health affects, including hormone disruption.”

PFAS stands for polyfluoroalkyl substances, often used as stain guards and in other consumer products. The EPA’s advisory says anything above 70 parts per trillion in drinking water can be hazardous to health, and can cause birth defects and hormonal problems.

The Ecology Center’s tests in the Boston area found 190 to 300 parts per trillion in PFAS chemicals.

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