Department of Health of Washington state asserts there is no increased cancer risk for soccer players who use artificial turf fields
Recently, Department of Health of Washington State issued a report on its research with regard to cancer risks among Washington’s soccer players. The aim of the research was to address a concern that there were cancer cases among the team due to playing on synthetic turf fields. The concern was raised by a coach at the University of Washington. The soccer coach from the University of Washington submitted a list of 53 former or current residents of Washington who had cancer in 2016 and played soccer on artificial turf fields before. Notwithstanding, this list alone could not determine whether there was a higher cancer risk among the players than the rate expected in the general population of Washington.
Due to public concerns with regard to the alleged negative effects of crumb rubber infill on athletes’ health, Washington Department of Health and researchers from UW’s School of Public Health cooperated to carry out a comparative research on cancer among soccer players and general population. The aim was to measure soccer-related and demographic risk fact factors among those cancer patients who were on the coach’s roster.
Comparison between the number of soccer players’ cancer cases and the number of those expected throughout the state based on statistical cancer rates shows that there was no additional cancer risk among soccer players in general and goalkeepers in particular. Moreover, scientists observed a lower number of cancer cases among soccer players than the rates observed throughout the state.
In addition, based on the review of medical and scientific literature on risk factors of cancer and effects of crumb rubber and synthetic turf on human health, Department of Health concluded that the current research on health effects of synthetic turf says there is no significant threat posed by crumb rubber infill. However, the department asserts that additional data on toxicity and exposure are needed. Thus, the department recommended that athletes who enjoy soccer or other sports keep playing regardless of the type of field surface. This research provided a direct evidence that exposure to crumb rubber poses no risk of cancer.
See original article by Exponent.