A new study of artificial turf made from recycled rubber tires shows that it does not, as far as anyone can tell, harbor dangerous bacteria or emit harmful fumes. It does, however, cause more skin abrasions.
It also does not smell like fresh-cut grass, ever, and it does not harbor interesting bugs and worms that smaller children may study while their older siblings play soccer. On the other hand, it is flawless in the way that dead plastic things are flawless. I suppose it is cheaper in the long run, what with the lack of mowing and watering. And everybody wants kids to have access to fields so that they can play sports. Sports are good.
But–really? Plastic grass? Isn't that just sad? Hasn't anyone bred a low-mow, low-water real grass that kids can play on, so that they don't spend their entire lives interactiing with plastic surfaces? Is that too much to ask?