Since 2009, American football trainer Amy Griffin keeps a list of soccer players who have been used to play on artificial turf with rubber crumb and suffered from cancer ever since. She is concerned that there might be a link between the crumb, made of old car tires, and cancer. Upon till now, the list contains 230 players. In the United Kingdom Nigel Maguire, former head of a regional health authority, is campaigning for better research on this rubber crumb. His son played as a goalkeeper and got lymphoma.
Worldwide every day millions of children and adults sport on this type of artificial turf. In the Netherlands there are nearly 2000 of those fields. The crumb ensures that the field has the same properties as natural grass with the added advantage that it is practically always playable. But the rubber crumb contains zinc, lead and benzene and different polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), substances proven to be carcinogenic. Nevertheless, the National Institute for Health and the Environment (RIVM) claims in 2006 that no health risks are expected from sporting on the artificial turf.
ZEMBLA examines: are we knowledgeable and honestly informed about the health risks of artificial grass with rubber crumb?
Director: Roelof Bosma
Research: Frans Glissenaar
Editor in chief: Manon Blaas