While trying to think of a blog post I thought of an interesting story I heard on ESPN about the turf beads on turf soccer fields correlation to cancer. Not many people know but the turf beads on turf fields comes from used rubber tires that are then broken down into little rubber crumbs. The use of the rubber crumbs on synthetic turf fields was a solution to the build up of used tires with no where to put them.
The institution of turf has been great for the sporting world. Personally, as someone who played football on both a grass field and a turf field, a turf field has every advantage. Turf fields are softer, flatter, and dry more quickly then almost any grass field. However, recently, a disadvantage may have been discovered.
Amy Griffin is the goalkeeping coach for the University of Washington’s women’s soccer team. More importantly, she seems to have picked up on a scary correlation. Griffin noticed a significant number of athletes who had once constantly practiced and played on synthetic turf fields were diagnosed with some form of cancer in their later lives. The even more shocking discovery was that many of these players were goalies. Since this discovery Amy Griffin has sought out to find more cases of athletes who once played on synthetic turf and have been diagnosed with any type of cancer. The results were consistent with her hypothesis. She made a list of 200 of athletes who fit the mold she was looking for. Of those 200 athletes with cancer, 101 were soccer goalies. Used tires are toxic if burned and thats why they can not be put in landfills, but now there is fear breathing in or exposure to the toxicity maybe be causing cancer, primarily lymphoma. It is suspected that the crumb rubber getting on open cuts, in the eye, in the mouth, and other exposed areas may lead to health concerns. Although many toxologists suggest there is not enough evidence for concern that the fields are causing cancer, the statistics definitely call for attention to this subject. here