Recently the NFL Players Association called for all 30 NFL stadiums to use natural grass rather than synthetic or artificial turf. The reason given is that artificial turf causes "unnecessary injuries" in football players.
It's true. For years, including the 2022 NFL season, there were significantly more non-contact injuries to the lower extremities (e.g., ACL tears) on synthetic turf than on natural grass. By the way, the FIFA World Cup soccer association always requires a grass playing field.
But there are also other compelling reasons to not use synthetic turf - all the toxic chemicals in it. Carcinogens (e.g., cancer-causing chemicals), endocrine disruptors, "forever chemicals" (e.g., PAHs), neurotoxicants. Study after study shows that these chemicals leach out into the environment, as well as on the people playing on the turf. And yes, it is thought they cause harmful health effects, such as cancer - but the studies have not been done.
Children playing on these synthetic fields are at highest risk - they inhale the chemicals being released from the tur, get it on their skin, and ingest tiny particles. The synthetic turf also heats up excessively in hot sunny weather - from 140 to 170 degrees F. (Grass rarely heats up more than 100 degrees F.)
The following are some good articles on this topic:
Moms Clean Air Force (non-profit group working on air quality issues): Artificial Grass Isn’t Always Greener: Toxic Chemicals in Synthetic Turf
For health information about the chemicals, and tips to reduce risks if you or your child plays on synthetic turf. From The Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai: Artificial Turf Health Risks
Great (and easy to read) reports on artificial turf from the non-profit research group Environment and Human Health. Main page (scroll down) on artificial turf articles. Good article: Synthetic Turf Report: Industry's Claims Versus the Science (Hint: they explain how the synthetic turf industry lies and distorts)
From Beyond Pesticides: Sports World Rejects Synthetic Turf, Favors Natural Grass as Organic Offers Safe Alternatives