Article on safety of synthetic infill in ESPNW by Julie Foudy
I remember the first time I played on a synthetic turf field. I thought, “Wow, this is amazing. What is this stuff?” It seemed so much better than that concrete-like Astro Turf that was essentially just a green, thin carpet over hard ground.
I also recall, in the hotter months, seeing waves of heat (you could actually see the waves) above the playing surface. I remember a smell coming off the fields that just didn’t seem right. Which made me pause for a hot second … and then play on, like most athletes do.
In 2014, I saw Amy Griffin’s list. Five years before, the former U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper and current University of Washington goalkeeper coach had started gathering a list of athletes who had played on crumb-rubber synthetic turf and had been diagnosed with cancer. She started the list when two goalkeepers she knew with lymphoma had suspected it may be from “those black dots.” Then, other goalkeepers Griffin knew and coached were revealed to have cancer.