Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are almost everywhere, from water, air, food, soil and a plethora of products and surfaces, but no longer in TenCate’s synthetic turf.
The U.S.-based company manufactures synthetic grass for sports and landscapes applications. Previous versions of its artificial turf contained minuscule levels of non-soluble PFAS, according to third-party testing. Those values were ‘far lower’ than the levels found in common consumer products like dental floss and prescription medications, and significantly less than that allowed by the Food and Drug Administration in packaging for food, according to the company.
With public concern about the harmful consequences of PFAS exposure growing steadily, TenCate resolved to eliminate these so-called forever chemicals from its product to give its customers ‘complete peace of mind’, it said in a statement.
During a review of TenCate’s manufacturing process, engineers discovered a manufacturing processing aid used in fiber extrusion that contained trace levels of non-soluble PFAS. The processing aid was replaced with a PFAS-free one, fully eliminating their presence in the synthetic turf.
“TenCate has worked tirelessly to eliminate any PFAS from our manufacturing process,” said Joe Fields, president and CEO of TenCate Americas. “We are dedicated to making the most innovative, highest quality turf that is both safe and sustainable, and this advancement is one more pivotal way we are accomplishing our mission.”
TenCate is involved in other polymer sustainability initiatives. In 2022, it launched, in collaboration with Exxon Mobil and Cyclyx, a recycling programme for turning synthetic turf into a feedstock that can be used to create, among others, new turf.