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Is Artificial Turf Safe?

New studies show that artificial turf could be linked to cancer. The turf, made from old tires, may contain chemicals that cause cancer in athletes who play on artificial turf often. Artificial grass was first invented in 1964 as synthetic grass laid on concrete. During the early 2000s, a better form was developed. Crumb rubber was being placed between the fake blades of grass, making a softer landing surface.

More than 11,000 synthetic turf fields are being used with the crumb rubber in the United States today. It is also being used in playgrounds across the country. The crumb rubber gets everywhere. A new report has shown that soccer goalies have the biggest risk of the negative effects that come with playing on artificial turf. The crumb rubber gets into cuts, scrapes, and mouths from diving. The crumb rubbers are thought to contain mercury, lead, benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, arsenic, other chemicals, heavy metals, and carcinogens.

Crumb rubber could be linked to being the cause of cancers from the chemicals it contains. "There are certainly chemicals in small amounts [in turf] as in many other things," says Lee, of the Synthetic Turf Council. Studies have found that crumb rubber fields let off gases that can be inhaled, and the gases become worse as the turf heats up.

The Environmental Protection Agency needs more research evidence to confirm the link between artificial turf and cancer. Until further research is done, it is recommended to limit exposure to reduce any possible side effects from the crumb rubber.

To ensure the safety and health of an athlete, regular checkups are a good idea. From regular checkups, diseases and other health issues can be caught early before damage is done. For more information, contact one of our attorneys today.

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