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Team 13

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Andreya Gardner
Nia Samuels
Massita Camara

Dr. Yang Qin

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Determination of PFAS presence in, and leachability from, artificial turf

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are human-made compounds used in many products such as nonstick pans, rain repellent boots, and grease-resistant food packaging for their heat, oil, and water-resistant properties. They are composed of a strong carbon and fluorine bond that makes them almost impossible to break. Recently, the public has expressed concerns about the possibility that artificial turf used in institutions such as schools and parks may contain PFAS. These compounds are known to cause life-threatening diseases such as cancer, increased cholesterol, and reproductive damage. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and Department of Public Health (DPH) have partnered in sponsoring this project to determine whether PFAS are present in artificial turf and investigate their leachability into groundwater. To identify if PFAS are present in artificial turf, we designed a laboratory-scale protocol intended to separate the components of the artificial turf blades, the infill, and the backing into smaller molecules that can be extracted into water. We also designed a laboratory scale process to simulate the effects of acid rain, sun exposure, and movements on an artificial turf sports field to identify the conditions in which PFAS may leach from each component of the turf. Our team collected the samples to be tested by an external laboratory to ensure an EPA gold standard measurement. In the event that PFAS are present in the turf samples, and their leachability is quantified, this project will lay the foundation for identifying a source of PFAS in groundwater. At the conclusion of this study, the methods and results will be documented in a scientific publication.