The Turf War — the Debate Over the Safety of Synthetic Turf Rages On

November 18, 2015


In yet another ominous report on concerns about crumb rubber in artificial turf, ESPN’s E60 series recently aired a 16-minute televised segment. ESPN reporter Julie Foudy interviewed almost a dozen people involved with the issue, including three toxicologists, two soccer coaches who have first-hand experience with goalkeepers who have died from cancer, a current cancer victim and his parents, a lawyer and the head of the EPA.

Today, according to the report, crumb rubber is used as infill on 12,000 synthetic athletic fields in the U.S. Amy Griffin, a goalkeeper coach at the University of Washington, now has a list of 200 names of athletes who’ve played on synthetic turf and have developed cancer (many of whom have died). A synthetic-turf industry representative, also interviewed in the report, said there’s no hard evidence to link the crumb rubber to cancer, despite the dozen carcinogens known to be in crumb rubber.

Yet, as the ESPN reporter states toward the end of the segment, “As the debate continues, more fields are being built and more names being added to Amy Griffin’s list.”

To watch the video in its entirety, click here.

Posted in