NBC Nightly News- How Safe Is the Artificial Turf Your Child Plays On?

Over the years natural turf growers and artificial turf proponents have debated as to which form of ground cover is best for playgrouds and athletic fields.

Natural turf is a living organism that must be maintained and monitored. It has served as a nourishing carpet for athletic fields since the beginning of recreational sports.

Throughout the decades, recreational facilities and schools have sought a cheaper more maintenance free type of platform to play on: artificial turf. Today more than 11,000 sports fields across the U.S. are host to artificial turf, according to the synthetic turf council.

The most modern form of artificial turf emerged early 2000. Styrene butadiene rubber or “crumb rubber” is a new standard type turf which contains tiny black crumbs made from pulverized car tires. The tiny crumbs are poured in between the fake grass blades.  While some groups claim this product to be harmless, others are a bit more skeptical.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mercury, lead, benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, arsenic, heavy metals and carcinogens have been found in tires.

Since the inception of this new form of artificial turf, critics claim the incidence of cancer diagnoses, particularly Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, has been on the rise among soccer goal keepers and other athletes who have spent considerable time on these fields.  Could it be coincidence, or is there a direct correlation?

NBC Nightly News aired a story that focusses on the health concerns associated with the over exposure artificial turf.  Tune in and listen to some of the findings that NBC has discovered…