Toronto Metropolitan University
Lauria et al. 2022 (PFAS artificial turf).pdf (1.42 MB)

Widespread Occurrence of Non-Extractable Fluorine in Artificial Turfs from Stockholm, Sweden

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-30, 19:19 authored by Mélanie Z. Lauria, Ayman Naim, Merle Plassmann, Jenny Fäldt, Roxana SuehringRoxana Suehring, Jonathan P. Benskin

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are frequently used in the production of rubber and plastic, but little is known about the identity, concentration, or prevalence of PFAS in these products. In this study, a representative sample of plasticand rubber-containing artificial turf (AT) fields from Stockholm, Sweden, was subjected to total fluorine (TF), extractable organic fluorine (EOF), and target PFAS analysis. TF was observed in all 51 AT samples (ranges of 16−313, 12−310, and 24−661 μg of F/ g in backing, filling, and blades, respectively), while EOF and target PFAS occurred in <42% of all samples (<200 and <1 ng of F/g, respectively). A subset of samples extracted with water confirmed the absence of fluoride. Moreover, application of the total oxidizable precursor assay revealed negligible perfluoroalkyl acid (PFAA) formation across all three sample types, indicating that the fluorinated substances in AT are not low-molecular weight PFAA precursors. Collectively, these results point toward polymeric organofluorine (e.g., fluoroelastomer, polytetrafluoroethylene, and polyvinylidene fluoride), consistent with patent literature. The combination of poor extractability and recalcitrance toward advanced oxidation suggests that the fluorine in AT does not pose an imminent risk to users. However, concerns surrounding the production and end of life of AT, as well as the contribution of filling and blades to environmental microplastic contamination, remain.