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Artificial turf is a surface of synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass, used in sports arenas, residential lawns and commercial applications that formerly used grass. It is durable and easily maintained without irrigation or trimming. Covered stadiums may require it, lacking sunlight for photosynthesis. Downsides include periodic cleaning requirements and heightened health concerns about the petroleum and toxic chemicals used to make it.
Artificial turf first gained substantial attention in 1966, when ChemGrass was installed in the year-old Astrodome, developed by Monsanto and rebranded as AstroTurf, now a generic trademark (registered to a new owner) for any artificial turf.
The first-generation system of shortpile fibers without infill of the 1960s has largely been replaced by two more. The second features longer fibers and sand infill and the third adds recycled crumb rubber to the sand.