PFAS-coated clothes that are thrown away will often end up either incinerated or in landfill. Unless incinerated at very high temperatures (>1000oC), fluorinated polymers could release more harmful PFAS during burning. PFAS of environmental concern have also been found in landfill leachate. PFAS is found in treated waste water from industrial and domestic sources and has been found in both rivers and groundwater. Conventional drinking water processes will not remove PFAS.Small quantities of PFAS will be removed during wash and wear of products containing PFAS. This includes fluorinated polymers used on stain-resistant coatings, and non-polymers that remain on clothes after production (Lassen et al. 2015).Non-polymer PFAS can build up in blood protein of animals, and is not always removed quickly. This means that predators eating PFAS-contaminated food will have higher levels in their bloodstream, and concentrations can increase up the food chain. Studies suggest that build up of PFAS is similar to those of other Persistent Organic Pollutants such as DDT.PFAS are estimated to be settling in arctic regions at rates of tens to hundreds of kilograms per year (25-850kg per year), depending on the specific PFAS chemical in question. Certain PFAS are released as gases to the environment and are blown a long way by wind and air currents in the atmosphere,. These gas PFAS will over time degrade to more persistent chemicals like PFOS and PFOA. This may be one reason why PFAS of environmental concern have been found in remote regions such as the Arctic as well as near PFAS production sitesPFAS including PFOS and PFOA have been found in air samples around Europe. The chemicals are found in small quantities, but appear in almost all samples tested. PFAS enters the atmosphere both from factories and the air inside our homes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17554424 Non-polymer PFAS are used in the production of fluorinated polymers. The manufacture of stain-resistant finishes generally releases these PFASs into the environment, both by air and water emissions. They are very hard to remove during water treatment. Workers in textiles factories are some of the population most exposed to these potentially harmful chemicals.

Practical resources for the 3G pitch industry and decision-makers.

Cleaner Pitch Guidelines

We have created a set of simple guidelines, describing some of the small changes you can make to help stop the flow of microplastics from pitch to the environment.

Whether you are a member of a community trust looking to install a 3G pitch in your local area or a contractor working on pitch construction, these guidelines have been designed to help you make the right decision to mitigate microplastic pollution from 3G pitches.

A code of conduct

Put together with Local Authorities in mind we have created a Code of Conduct to ensure that pitch procurement, design and construction in counties across Scotland can be done with microplastic mitigation as the basis of any projects.

A briefing for Local Authorities

We have also created a briefing to help make it clear why local authorities are in a position to do something about microplastic pollution from 3G pitches.

A briefing for Local Authorities

We have also created a briefing to help make it clear why local authorities are in a position to do something about microplastic pollution from 3G pitches.

Case Studies

We have had discussions with key stakeholders across the artificial turf industry about the issue of microplastic pollution from 3G pitches.

We have been developing a number of case studies to show where preventative measure have been successfully introduced. These will be made available to help share expertise and understanding around how these measures have been implemented.

Are you already working on mitigating microplastic on your pitch? Are you using alternative infills, or an infill-free surface? Contact us to share your story and help others become part of the solution.

Simply send us an email to info@fidra.org.uk