Is Artificial Turf Safe to be used as a Playing Field Medium?

Recently NBC did a study on artificial turf. These surfaces have come a long way from the hard abrasive AstroTurf of the 1960’s, and some would say they even prefer to play on them instead of playing on natural grass. But how safe are the fields? It is true that falling against the rubber and plastic blades of grass cannot be much fun, but looking even deeper (literally) we see there are components to these fields that may not be safe for humans to be around.

How Artificial Turf is Constructed

Artificial turf has three main components to it. Before anything else, a padded underlayment is put down. This underlayment provides the bulk of the padding for the turf, and is actually never seen after the finished product is installed.

On top of that underlayment a mat of synthetic grass is rolled out. Containing a variety of straight and spiral blades this grass is so well made that it is difficult to determine (from a distance) if it is real or fake.

In order to provide even more cushioning, crumb rubber is sprinkled over the top of the fake grass. These tiny rubber pellets then fall down between the blades of fake grass, and they help prevent broken bones and bruises when an athlete falls against the ground. This crumb rubber may be the culprit to a number of health problems.

Crumb Rubber

After a car or truck tire has reached the end of its life, it is generally sent to the landfill. Around the year 2000, however, many tires were recycled into crumb rubber. By removing the metal components, and grinding the tires up into tiny rubber pellets, the tires could avoid the landfill, and serve another purpose. But there is one major downfall to crumb rubber.

Tires were never meant to be ingested. Because they rarely come into contact with humans, tires contain a number of toxins and chemicals. These items help to make a tire that is durable and will stand up to use on the roadways. Many of these items are also known human carcinogens.

When an athlete falls against the artificial turf, the crumb rubber bounces up and out from between the blades of grass. This causes it to get stuck against sweaty skin, lodged in open abrasions, inhaled and swallowed. Frequent exposure like this has lead many young athletes to be diagnosed with blood cancers like Hodgkin’s disease and Leukemia.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

If you have had prolonged exposure to artificial turf, and you have been diagnosed with cancer, you may be able to file an artificial turf lawsuit. Contact a personal injury attorney today to schedule your free case review, and determine if you can collect compensation to cover medical expenses.