NBC: Are ‘crumb rubber’ turf fields safe?

NBC: Are ‘crumb rubber’ turf fields safe?


NBC: Are ‘crumb rubber’ turf fields safe?


An NBC investigative piece on the safety of artificial turf surfaces of the kind used, for example, at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and a number of local high schools, gained new life Thursday morning when a number of prominent national sports writers took to promoting it.

Originally published Oct. 8, Hannah Rappleye’s article tells the story of multiple young soccer goalkeepers developing cancers, possibly related to the small rubber pellets that make up the bed of modern turf surfaces.

“I’ve coached for 26, 27 years,” said Amy Griffin, who works on the University of Washington’s women’s soccer staff. “My first 15 years, I never heard anything about this. All of a sudden it seems to be a stream of kids.”

Goalkeepers share with football players a tendency to hit the turf, brushing particles known to include chemicals into the air and possibly into athletes’ mouths, cuts and scrapes. The pellets fill in between artificial grass, cushioning falls and providing a realistic feel.

No research connects cancer with the new style of turf, though the point of NBC’s piece is that perhaps it’s time to test that. Since the story was published, at least one school canceled its installation of a “crumb rubber” turf field.

Every tire’s makeup is different, but their re-use in fields has been deemed an environmental success story. Now Griffin is seeking to point out potential drawbacks, even though federal research on the topic is unlikely.

Read NBC’s full story here: http://nbcnews.to/ZRrvAy


• It’s unlikely Antonio Blakeney attends the University of Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness on Friday, though that’s not a sign he has backed off the Wildcats in his recruitment. As The Courier-Journal’s Steve Jones writes, Blakeney exchanges texts with UK coach John Calipari sometimes five times a week. (http://cjky.it/1ocy6Ae)

• University of Louisville beat writer Jeff Greer sat down with star Cardinals forward Montrezl Harrell for a Q&A on Wednesday, hitting on the junior’s particularly strange pregame snack routine of combining Mountain Dew with Gatorade. Whatever works. (http://cjky.it/1F0foRw)

• Remember that nasty hit on a Louisiana-Monroe player during a UK punt return Saturday? Coach Mark Stoops didn’t like how JD Harmon went about it, choosing to suspend the cornerback for a half against LSU after speaking with SEC officials. (http://cjky.it/1wbdNlS)


• SBNation.com counted U of L sophomore Terry Rozier among its 10 expected breakout college basketball players this season, saying the guard “is a safe bet” to elevate his game. (http://bit.ly/1CqdYvw)

• Former Cardinal Kyle Kuric is still making highlight plays as he continues his career overseas, most recently scoring 21 points off the bench. Sportando.com has video of his performance. (http://bit.ly/1stUUtD)

• Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel on Wednesday evening published a column showing the treatment of the Jameis Winston case could discourage other victims of sexual assault from speaking out. Florida State, of course, plays at U of L on Oct. 30. (http://yhoo.it/1rxIHAi)

Jonathan Lintner can be reached at (502) 582-4199. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanLintner.


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