The Many Benefits of Recycled Rubber
Dr. Archie Bleyer, former decade-long chair of the Children’s Cancer Group, then the world’s largest pediatric cancer research organization, has analyzed the debate around recycled rubber and potential health effects and posted a detailed analysis online. His concluded the following:
“… we naturally have a need to find something to blame but it's not the crumb rubber or anything else in synthetic turf that caused the cancers. On the contrary, physical activity should be encouraged and promoted by year round, weather-resistant fields to help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. Limiting field development could in the long run actually increase cancer incidence.”
Read the full analysis here: Synthetic Turf Fields, Crumb Rubber, and Concerns about Cancer
- Dr. Bleyer is Clinical Research Professor in Radiation Medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University, and founding member of the Critical Mass Young Adult Cancer Alliance and founder of DEFEATcancer. Dr. Bleyer chaired the Children’s Cancer Group for 10 years, then the world's largest pediatric cancer research organization, the Department and Division of Pediatrics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Community Oncology in the Department and Division of Medicine at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
“There really is no reason for concern related to exposures to chemicals in these fields. The simple presence of a chemical in a product does not mean there is some inherent risk associated with that. As far as I know, in the scientific, peer-reviewed literature, there are no studies that have shown that turf is not safe.”
- Michael Peterson is a board-certified toxicologist at Gradient, an environmental and risk sciences consulting firm
Testimonials (Local Voices)
- John Boynton
President of Concord Carlisle at Play, Inc. Concord, MA
"Would I let my kids play on these fields? Absolutely. All four of my kids do play on these fields. It’s a tremendous opportunity for them to get outside, be active – we’re so grateful to have them. I’m convinced that they are safe.
We’re parents – were not scientists – so we relied on the science and we came to understand that artificial turf is one of the most intensively studied consumer products in history.
We found that there’s actually twenty years of research that’s been undertaken into this specific question and we determined that the science really has spoken clearly. We did not find any evidence of any health risk to our children. So on that basis we made the decision to go forward with our design.
I think we need to keep the conversation focused on the science – keep it fact based – and help parents and officials understand that these really are safe, they offer tremendous advantages and there’s no need for anxiety related to kids playing on them."
- Jim Dorsey
Athletic Director, McEachern High School, Powder Springs, GA
"We presently have three artificial turf fields. Our first fields went in about thirteen or fourteen years ago.
My course of action, primarily, was just to research studies that I could find on the internet dealing with this issue and based on their findings, there was just no correlation whatsoever that I could find on any of the things that I read that pointed to the fact that crumb rubber could be an issue.
You know, my children went to school here, played on these surfaces while they were here. We have thousands of kids that come through, not only just our students here at McEachern High School but our youth leagues, our middle school programs utilize our fields day in – we literally have thousands of kids that have played on our fields over this twelve, thirteen year span and I’ve absolutely had no issues whatsoever."
- Mike Alissi
Father, Hamden, CT
"From media reports, you would think there is a raging debate among scientists… There really is not. What we have is a huge body of evidence… and on the other side we have speculation, concern and a lot of fear. It’s overwhelmingly clear that the level of risk is minimal. This is within the type of risks we take everyday."