Despite increasing popularity due to a yearslong statewide drought, artificial turf is a new enemy of the California State Legislature.
A bill signed into law by Governor Newsom this year would allow cities and counties to ban synthetic lawns over health concerns associated with so-called “forever chemicals,” or PFAS, that have been linked to health concerns, including cancer.
An environmental expert at USC said more research should be done to determine the actual health impact, but was concerned about the plastics entering the water supply.
Newsom stopped short of an outright ban on the turf as he vetoed a different bill that would have banned the “forever chemicals” and, in effect, the fake turf.
Newsom’s decisions highlight the complexities surrounding this issue.
While synthetic turf is an increasingly popular option for property owners to deal with recurring droughts and water cutbacks, there is growing concern about not only the chemicals, but also the heat it emits.