A New Jersey Congressman sent a letter to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) regarding the use of recycled tire crumb rubber in synthetic turf fields and the potential health risks that they pose.
Frank Pallone Jr., a Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, asked the agency to conduct an official study to examine what effects exposure to the chemicals in crumb rubber may have on athletes who play on turf fields and come into contact with crumb rubber on a regular basis.
“Crumb rubber has been known to contain carcinogens and chemicals, but there is an astounding lack of information on how this product affects our health,” Congressman Pallone says. “And yet, we send our young kids off to soccer practice and football practice to play on turf fields made of this very substance. The fact that crumb rubber has become so prevalent and that we still know so little about potential health risks it poses is troubling. More research must be done to protect the safety of public health.”
A recent report by NBC News highlighted 38 cases of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and other cancers in American soccer players who have played on turf fields containing crumb rubber.
In his Oct. 10 letter to the ATSDR, Pallone stressed the need for more research to be done to determine whether repeated exposure to crumb rubber increases the risk of lymphoma, leukemia and other blood cancers. He ultimately wants more data to be made available to properly evaluate the adverse health effects that crumb rubber may have on young athletes.