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A beautiful looking surface that looks like grass but keeps your dog clean; artificial turf has become more and more popular in dog daycares. Clients seem to like it and companies have specialized in turf for animal care.

The main reason we were hesitant about it is that artificial turf can get very hot on sunny days, even hotter than blacktop. But now there are more problems emerging.

A recent article in The Guardian talked about a possible link between toxic chemicals in artificial turf and a rare cancer that killed professional baseball players that played on this turf.

There are different kinds of artificial turf. Some daycares have opted to use recycled turf that was previously used on high school playing fields. Some of this turf requires that it be back filled to make the blades stand up. This back filler is often made from recycled tires and can be contaminated with heavy metals.

But even turf that doesn’t use this rubberized back filler contains dangerous chemicals. All artificial turf is made with toxic PFAS compounds. PFAS, known as the ‘forever chemical,’ has been linked to a wide range of health problems.

A growing number of municipalities in the US have banned artificial turf or are proposing that it be banned. Manufactures however claim that the levels of toxic chemicals are safe. More studies are ongoing. We will keep following this story, but for now, the dogs in our care are not playing on artificial turf.

Dirk Broersma