Is there a link between artificial turf used on soccer fields and cancer?

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WATCH ABOVE: On Friday, three U.S. agencies said they plan to further investigate the use of crumb rubber on soccer fields after some people have questioned whether there was a link between exposure to the artificial turf and cancer. Stephanie Gosk reports – Feb 15, 2016

A material used to help create bounce on a soccer pitches across North America has come into question whether exposure to it causes cancer. Crumb rubber, as it’s known as, is ground up car and truck tires that is used on soccer fields to help create a bounce for a soccer ball.

Crumb rubber is used in thousands of schools, parks, and stadiums around the world. The process to manufacture tires allows for carcinogens to remain trapped inside.

Women’s soccer coach Amy Griffin started asking questions after two goalies she coached developed cancer according to an NBC News report. NBC News first reported on the possible connection between crumb rubber and cancer in October of 2014.

A conversation with Austen Everett, a star goalkeeper for the University of Miami who died from cancer at the age of 22, also pointed Griffin in the direction of the artificial turf.

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Everett said, “I just have a feeling it has something to do with those black dots.”

Everett passed away in 2012 from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and chronicled her fight with cancer.

Austen Everett with her mother June Leahy. Credit: The Austen Everett Foundation/Facebook.


Griffin started a list of goalies she knew with cancer. That list has risen to 75 players.

On Friday, three U.S. agencies including the Centres for Disease Control, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a plan to investigate crumb rubber.

“The existing studies do not comprehensively evaluate the concerns,” read a statement from the three watchdog agencies.

They will also “analyze chemical compounds in the crumb rubber, measure exposure to those chemicals and reach out to parents, scientists and industry leaders.”


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