Chock one up for the synthetic turf industry.
After chemical tests showed no hazardous amount of toxic materials in the artificial turf fields installed at several Glendale, California, public schools, officials from the city’s school district said they’re likely to stick with the turf material they’ve been using for the last decade, according to a report in the Glendale News-Press.
The school system decided to have the fields tested after mainstream media reports cited a possible link between the crumb rubber in synthetic turf and cancer. A story by “NBC News” last October was the reason for the many subsequent stories, which dominated national and local news last fall.
Initially, “NBC News” reported that Amy Griffin, the associate head coach for the University of Washington’s women’s soccer team, discovered in 2009 that four young women from the Seattle community who played soccer goalie — all who played on synthetic turf — had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. After further research, Griffin learned of 38 American soccer players — 34 of them goalies — who were diagnosed with cancer. She and others, including a few cancer-stricken players, wonder if the crumb rubber infill could be poisoning players because it allegedly contains carcinogens and chemicals.
The news reports concerned Glendale parents. Glendale school officials then hired GeoSyntec to analyze the health risk of the crumb-rubber samples from Glendale fields according to standards laid out by both the U.S. and California Environmental Protection Agencies, according to the News-Press.
“What we found was the crumb rubber material that we currently use actually came out below the standards,” Alan Reising, director of facilities for Glendale Unified, told the News-Press.