The Truth Behind the Alleged Link Between Cancer and Crumb-Rubber Infill – Part 2

This article is a continuation of our previous synthetic turf landscaping post: The Truth Behind the Alleged Link Between Cancer and Crumb-Rubber Infill – Part 1.

As we’ve mentioned previously, there are many different kinds of infill that are used in modern synthetic turf landscaping and are considered by manufacturers as environmentally safe and health-conscious. So how do we weigh the accusations against synthetic turf landscaping that say many infills used today are not good for our health and may even cause cancer, such as in 2014 when a women’s soccer coach from U of W, Amy Griffin, suggested a link between athletes in the dozens who frequently played synthetic turf landscaping with crumb-rubber infill. Even though Griffin wasn’t citing any scientific studies, nor was she claiming that she was an expert on the matter, she was simply pointing out what seemed to be a startling coincidence, one that began to seem even more convincing as more athletes with cancer contacted her, inclined to agree with her assumption that crumb-rubber infill and cancer were linked. The total number of these students who have come forward since 2014 now exceeds 200, over half of whom are soccer goalies.

The same year Griffin released her statement, many major news outlets ran segments on the potential issue, including ESPN and NBC. The truth, though, is that these segments were filled mostly with emotional stories of certain people who died of cancer which, though heartbreaking and certainly worth grieving over, reached no solid conclusion and showed little evidence that a link existed. But one thing this national exposure did do that was positive is the fact that it probably did require a bit more legitimate research. A closer look at the chemical makeup of infills, crumb-rubber in particular, was in order. The University of Tennessee has taken on the challenge and has been doing extensive research on the supposed link for a number of years, approaching it from a strictly scientific point of view, gathering the data and seeing what it says. To date, the studies at this university as well as those performed by many others elsewhere in academia (such as Penn State) and various medical facilities (such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Connecticut Department of Public Health) have conclusively shown that there is, in fact, no evidence whatsoever that links cancer and crumb-rubber infill together. One supporting argument that is often referenced is that fact that employees who have worked for decades in the tire industry do not get cancer at higher rates than those working in other professions.

The Synthetic Turf Council (STC) has also corroborated these findings, saying that the way crumb-rubber infill is manufactured follows the same guidelines as does the rubber used in virtually any other rubber product that is manufactured on a mass scale, such as children’s toys, hospital floors, garden hoses, and shoes. Recycled rubber, they say, has such a minuscule amount of any concerning chemicals as to render the argument baseless. They also point out the immensely positive environmental impact that synthetic turf landscaping has, especially regarding sustainability and water conservation.

To put this into perspective, it is estimated that between 500,000 and 1,000,000 gallons of water are saved every year by one single full-size field that incorporates synthetic turf landscaping, depending on the region. Many areas, such as in California, have replaced traditional fields with synthetic turf landscaping (with crumb-rubber infill) out of necessity due to water concerns and have done so with startlingly wonderful results and with no negative side effects whatsoever. One particular synthetic turf field at UCLA is estimated to save nearly 6 million gallons of water each year alone.

This article will continue with synthetic turf landscaping post: The Truth Behind the Alleged Link Between Cancer and Crumb-Rubber Infill – Part 3.

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The Truth Behind the Alleged Link Between Cancer and Crumb-Rubber Infill – Part 2

Synthetic Turf Landscaping

Article by Clear Content Marketing