Officials are investigating artificial turf for cancer risk that the materials may be exposing professional players and children to all around the country. If a link is discovered, a replacement will be incoming.
- The CDC, EPA, and CPSC will be investigating the matter
- The three organizations will invest $2 million into research, to be conducted by a team of 50 scientists
- Studies have confirmed the presence of lead in artificial fields
- Others have linked exposure to crumb rubber turf to cancer
Three organizations will be investigating the matter. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will be organizing a team of 50 federal employees with a $2 million budget. It’s a highly important issue due to the high exposure of people to the artificial rubber turf. Athletes and children are at the top of the list.
According to studies, the crumb rubber turf was found to have high enough levels of lead to potentially harm kids. It’s commonly used in thousands playgrounds and day care centers across the nation. It is possible that the high exposure increases the risk of several unfortunate conditions, especially for children who are highly vulnerable. The slightest quantity might damage their health.
The Obama administration approved the study, seeking to find a potential connection between artificial rubber turf and cancer as well. This is due to the fact that it’s more commonly created from recycled tire materials that might be holding carcinogenic compounds. While there is no link to cancer just yet, there have been studies that claim it might be at fault for numerous athletes developing the disease.
Back in 2015, a soccer coach from the University of Washington published a list of 38 young athletes who developed blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma. Among them, 34 were goalkeepers, who spend the most time on the ground, jumping, catching, and rolling across the artificial fields. It is possible that the higher exposure increased their risk of the developing the disease.
Even more, there are around 200 athletes diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to artificial turf, where a majority of them are soccer players. Once again, this highlights the possibility of direct contact with the ground. Whether they dive or fall, it’s possible that the hazardous chemicals would’ve gotten into their mouths, ears, and on their clothing. That exposure, in turn, increased their risk of developing cancer.
However, the possibility is clear for all types of athletes that play on artificial fields. The United States alone has around 11,000 such artificial turf fields, and a potential link to cancer will have all of them replaced. That means an investment of $1 million. According Elliot Kaye, from the CPSC, the “government’s best and brightest scientists” are working on determining if there is a link between cancer and exposure to crumb rubber turf.
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