A crumb rubber turf war is brewing
It’s a debate that has taken root on athletic fields across the country: artificial turf or natural grass?
For those charged with deciding which surface to play on, the decision normally centers around the cost and lifespan of the field, but has now become about so much more.
Recent studies have found a link between the popular crumb rubber turf and certain cancers, such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
According to researchers, and a growing group of critics, the old tires that are used to manufacture the crumb rubber contains carcinogens and other harmful substances, which are potentially very dangerous to children and other users. Pellets from the turf can easily get into player’s eyes, mouth and open wounds.
Concerns for young athletes
In 2009, a University of Washington soccer coach, Amy Griffin, discovered that many of her goalies suffered from cancer, more than any other players on the field. Griffin later conducted studies of her own, and found a list of 230 athletes who had cancer. This list contains 183 soccer players, 114 of which are goalies.
In November 2015, Senators Bill Nelson (D. Fla) and Richard Blumenthal (D. Conn.), citing Griffin’s list of 230 athletes with cancer, asked Elliot Kaye, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, to lead an independent investigation into the material’s health effects.
Last February, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a plan to study crumb rubber and the possible effects it might have on athletes more comprehensively. On their website, the EPA said it plans to have initial results by the end of the 2016 year.
Approximately 11,000 fields and playgrounds in the U.S. contain crumb rubber today.
Cancer causing carcinogens
The following carcinogens can be found within tire crumb:
- Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
The Carlson Law Firm has a team of attorneys experienced in cases involving toxic chemicals and product liability. If you or someone you know have been diagnosed with cancer and have had exposure to crumb rubber, you might have a case. We protect victims nationwide. Contact our office for a free consultation at any time, we are available to assist you 24/7.
- Written by Jill Fowler