Global environmental challenges
Stuart Gaffin is a climate researcher at Columbia University and is a regular contributor with his blog “Exhausted Earth”. Reuters is not responsible for the content — the views are the author’s alone.
These fields are modern versions of the original “AstroTurf” installed inside the Houston Astrodome in the late 1960s, after it was found living turf grass would not survive there. Synthetic fields are becoming increasingly popular as outdoor recreational fields, usually replacing grass fields.
In cities they are also becoming popular as playground surfaces, instead of the old “asphalt jungle” pavements. Concerned individuals from many different quarters, including environmental scientists and park advocates, health researchers, parents and community groups, are raising many questions about the potential environmental and health consequences of unmitigated synthetic turf usage.