Why science over speculation matters when it comes to the synthetic turf debate
Many of us have seen headlines and reports about the “turf wars” in cities and towns across the country, and perhaps wondered if there is merit to claims of health effects from recycled rubber infill in artificial turf fields. Currently, recycled rubber from worn out tires is diverted from landfills and used in over 11,000 artificial turf fields as well as in many playgrounds across the country.
Driven by news reports of children and young adults coping with various types of cancer, parents understandably have become concerned and have been left trying to figure out whether or not their children’s health is at risk.
The case against crumb rubber has manifested itself in the form of debates we’ve seen locally throughout the country, as voices such as a well-known women’s soccer coach in Washington state have suggested links to cancer through anecdotal evidence. What’s been absent and sorely needed is further attention to reputable science on the issue, in addition to the reporting of context for the seemingly scary claims being made about recycled rubber.