According to an investigative piece on NBC News, the artificial turf your child plays on could lead to cancer. The segment, which aired last week, featured a coach for the University of Washington's women's soccer team, Amy Griffin, who has noticed a disturbing pattern of young soccer players getting cancer.
It began in 2009, when she knew two goalies diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. At the time, she assumed it was an unfortunate coincidence –– until a nurse at the local hospital said that one of Griffin's athletes was the fourth goalie she'd hooked up to chemotherapy that week.
One of the players suspected that her cancer was due those "those black dots" –– meaning the crumb rubber that's meant to imitate dirt and which fills many athletic fields. These crumbs are made from old tires, which have been known to contain dangerous chemicals like benzene, carbon black and lead.
Griffin now has a list of 38 American soccer players diagnosed with cancer –– and 34 of them are goalies, who could be more at risk than other players because they are more likely to come into contact with artificial turf when diving for a ball, occasionally ingesting it by accident.
Admittedly, Griffin's list is not a scientific data set, and so far, no research has linked cancer to artificial turf. Hopefully, we will learn more in the next few years about the risks of artificial turf.
To find out more about this issue, watch the NBC News report below: