PFAS is already accumulating in your child's body, raising state & federal concern. LGUSD, don't risk further contaminating our kids and our water for a non-essential convenience.

Artificial turf contains PFAS.

PFAS have been linked to reproductive problems, cancer and other health issues. Concerns have become grave enough that, as of just recently, California has:
  • banned PFAS chemicals from items for young children and food packaging. (Beware: Artificial turf remains unregulated. Artificial turf is, incredulously, not classified as a childrens' product.)
  • forbidden manufacturers of cookware to label their products as free of any particular toxic chemical if the pots or pans contain PFAS. 
  • restricted use of environmental labels claiming product compostability or recyclability.
PFAS is so persistent and so pervasive in our environment that, coupled with the fact that it bioaccumulates in our bodies, it's now found almost universally in blood and breastmilk samples tested!

However, it is completely illogical, as expert Dr. Kyla Bennett recently emphasized, to rationalize that "just because PFAS is ubiquitous, it okay to add more".

Why would LGUSD risk further unnecessarily contaminating our environment with these "forever chemicals" when it could opt for alternatives to artificial turf such as employing the latest strategies for efficiently irrigated natural grass fields?

Let's back up... What exactly is PFAS?  The NRDC gives the facts (or you can opt for a campy spin here)...

"PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a class of thousands of extremely persistent chemicals that accumulate in the environment and living organisms.  

The use of PFAS in numerous consumer and industrial applications has led to widespread human exposure and environmental contamination.  

A broad range of adverse health outcomes have been linked to PFAS exposure, including kidney and testicular cancer, elevated cholesterol, liver disease, decreased fertility, thyroid problems, changes in hormone functioning, changes in the immune system, and adverse developmental effects.  

Under the broken U.S. regulatory system, managing the risk of PFAS has focused primarily on one chemical—out of thousands—at a time."

Babies exposed to PFAS can suffer impaired immune-system development.

The NRDC advises limiting PFAS usage to "only those uses considered essential for health or safety or critical for the functioning of society and where there are no safer alternatives available that are technically and economically feasible." 

LGUSD, use of artificial turf on our campuses is NOT essential.  LGUSD can opt for alternative landscape design and management solutions.

There are more than 9,000 known PFAS compounds.  

Known as "forever chemicals", Scientific American reports:

"These compounds may take hundreds, or even thousands, of years to break down in the environment. 

They can also persist in the human body, potentially causing health problems.  

There is clear science showing that PFAS contamination results from the production, use, disposal, and environmental breakdown of all the subclasses."   

Concern about PFAS has gone mainstream.  In 2019, the legal thriller, "Dark Waters" starring Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathawaystoried the case against DuPont after it contaminated a town with unregulated chemicals. 

But there's no need to buy into a dramatic spin on history.  Simply look at the developments unfolding federally and here in California.

“For far too long, families across America – especially those in underserved communities – have suffered from PFAS in their water, their air, or in the land their children play on,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. 

On 10/21/21, the current federal administration announced a plan of action to combat PFAS pollution

"President Biden believes every American deserves to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and eat safe food — free of chemicals and pollutants that harm the health and wellbeing of children, families, and communities. Today, to advance that commitment, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing accelerated efforts to protect Americans from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which can cause severe health problems and persist in the environment once released, posing a serious threat across rural, suburban, and urban areas."  

In the meantime, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shares its "current understanding of the human health and environmental risks of PFAS".  Some of the takeaways:

  • "One common characteristic of concern of PFAS is that many break down very slowly and can build up in people, animals, and the environment over time."

  • PFAS can be found in "drinking water – in public drinking water systems and private drinking water wells."

  • PFAS can be found in "food – for example in fish caught from water contaminated by PFAS and dairy products from livestock exposed to PFAS."

  • "Surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that most people in the United States have been exposed"

  • In addition to consuming PFAS in food and water, people can be exposed to PFAS by:
    • "Swallowing contaminated soil or dust.
    • Breathing air containing PFAS.
    • Using products made with PFAS or that are packaged in materials containing PFAS."

  • "Current peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that exposure to certain levels of PFAS may lead to:
    • Developmental effects or delays in children, including low birth weight, accelerated puberty, bone variations, or behavioral changes.
    • Increased risk of some cancers
    • Reduced ability of the body’s immune system to fight infections, including reduced vaccine response."

  • "health effects associated with exposure to PFAS are difficult to specify for many reasons" such as "There are thousands of PFAS with potentially varying effects and toxicity levels, yet most studies focus on a limited number of better known PFAS compounds."

  • "Because children are still developing, they may be more sensitive to the harmful effects of chemicals such as PFAS. They can also be exposed more than adults because:
    • Children drink more water, eat more food, and breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults, which can increase their exposure to PFAS.
    • Young children crawl on floors and put things in their mouths which leads to a higher risk of exposure"

Starting July 1, 2023, it will become illegal in California to sell new juvenile products like play mats if they contain regulated PFAS.  

LGUSD, isn't it premature to conclude artificial turf safe for our kids?
  • Artificial turf is essentially an oversized play mat. 
  • Artificial turf contains PFAS.
  • LGUSD is proposing to install artificial turf where 5-11 year olds play.