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. 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.
COP 26 Artificial Pitches - Fidra
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Artificial (3G) pitches

Artificial (3G) pitches are increasingly popular, but few are aware that the little black bits on their surface are microplastics! This can escape into surrounding soil and waterways. These plastics are ground-up old tyres and contain harmful chemicals that leach out worsening their impact on ecosystems. Our Pitch In project explains what you can do to stop pollution from your local sports field.



Artificial pitches can be a big source of microplastic pollution!

Microplastic, usually rubber from old car tyres, is added to the top of the pitch to make it bouncy.

It gets into your kit, leaks off pitch edges, down drains and into the environment where it can harm ecosystems.


Artificial Pitches can be microplastic free! Alternative infills such as cork, or coconut husk can create a great playing surface.

Where microplastic is used, simple barriers and filters in drains can minimise pollution.

Whenever you play on a pitch, play your part by brushing off your boots and leave the microplastic on the pitch.


Sign our Pitch In Pledge to call for action to tackle microplastic loss from pitches.

Pitch In Pledge >

Try out our games and activities to raise awareness with your sports teams.

games and activities >

Use our comprehensive best practice guidelines highlighting what you can do to stop microplastic pollution from your pitch.

cleaner pitch guidelines >