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Artificial turf may be linked to cancer

Artifical Turf may be linked to Cancer.


A

rtificial turf

--

it's used everywhere

. F

ootball fields, soccer stadiums,

playgrounds, they all have it--

but many times we don't give this fake grass

, or what's in it, too much thought.



"

I

f it wasn't safe they wouldn't have us playing on it, so I guess I trust my school and my principals and my coaches"


, said Palo Duro High school student, Malik Allen, who plays soccer and football.


R

ecently

though, some have begun questioning its safety. After Amy Griffin, a soccer coach in Washington state compiled a list of around 30 soccer players who have developed rare types of blood cancer, national attention is now on the issue. Griffin says around 22 of those diagnosed, are goalies. She says they're the players who spend the most time diving onto the turf.


D

octors here in
Amarillo say they are noticing a trend as well.



"

O

ver the last three decades the cancer rate in children is increasing and it's quite a bit, it's concerning,"


said Dr. Turner, a pediatric oncologist at Texas Tech.


B

ut
Dr. Turner also said we don't know why this is happening. He says most types of blood cancer are linked to genetics, or certain viruses like epstein bar, but that environmental factors could be contributing as well.



"

B

enzene,

" he said,

"has been shown to cause cancer

.

"


B

enzene and
Butadiene are both volatile organic compounds, or VOC's, and are used in the production of rubber tires. In large enough quantities, they have been linked to various types of leukemia.


I

t's not the actual
artificial turf grass itself that some think is dangerous, but what they use to fill in the grass to make it softer when athletes fall. It's called "crumb rubber", and it's not just found in stadiums, but also children's playgrounds, like Medi-Park in Amarillo.


"But," added Dr. Turner, "it's hard to tell an association vs. being causal."


T

he
EPA has yet to do a rigorous study on this link and refuses to comment to any news outlets, but studies conducted by the California government showed trace amounts of Benzene and Butadiene in the crumb rubber used in artificial turf.



"

I

think it'd be money well spent to do the studies to look for any possible association with these products and leukemias and lymphomas


," said Dr. Turner.


A

study done by the
California department of resources and recycling says there is added danger for exposure to Benzene when the crumb rubber is exposed to heat, but that it has not been studied thoroughly enough yet.

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