Industry Groups Welcome Washington State Department of Health’s Finding That There Is No Evidence of Increased Youth Cancer Rates From Playing on Synthetic Turf Fields

Analysis of Coach Amy Griffin’s List Finds Lower Cancer Incidence
Rates among Youth Soccer Players than would be Expected Based on General

Report Refutes Basis of Misleading Media Reports

DOH Recommends Continued Athletic Activity Irrespective of Field

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Leading members of the recycled rubber and synthetic turf industries
today announced that the Washington State Department of Health has
issued its analysis
of cancer rates and youth athletes playing on artificial turf fields
with recycled rubber infill and has stated the following:

“We did not find the number of cancers among soccer players,
select and premier players, or goalkeepers reported to the project team
to be higher than expected based on Washington cancer rates for people
of the same ages.”

In reaching its findings, the Department of Health analyzed the
widely-reported list compiled by University of Washington Women’s
Associate Head Soccer Coach Amy Griffin, which has fueled inaccurate and
misleading press stories that have frightened parents by implying a
possible link between playing on synthetic turf fields and cancer. To
the contrary, the Department of Health in fact found that the list
contained fewer incidences of cancer than would be expected, given
background rates within Washington residents of the same ages. The
Department of Health further assuaged concerns, saying:

“This finding does not suggest that soccer players, select and
premier soccer players, or goalkeepers in Washington are at increased
risk for cancer compared to the general population. In addition, the
currently available research on the health effects of artificial turf
does not suggest that artificial turf presents a significant public
health risk.”

“[W]hat is critical to consider are the routes of exposure and
potential dose someone receives. The available research suggests
exposures from crumb rubber are very low and will not cause cancer among
soccer players. The Washington State Department of Health recommends
that people who enjoy soccer continue to play regardless of the type of
field surface.”

Daniel Bond, President and CEO of the Synthetic Turf Council, said, “The
announcement by the Washington State Department of Health corroborates
the findings of over 90 reports, peer-reviewed academic studies, and
federal and state government analyses that have demonstrated no public
health risk from playing on synthetic turf fields. Furthermore, this
report directly refutes the purported basis of a number of misleading
reports that have implied a link between synthetic turf and cancer. Any
responsible discussion of this issue must now take into account the fact
that the supposed ‘premise’ of this list is false.”

Bond continued, “We applaud the Department of Health’s recommendation
that children and athletes should continue to play on these surfaces and
enjoy the many benefits of exercise and physical activity. In fact, the
Department of Health’s finding of less cancer in this group of youth
athletes than would be expected—given background rates in
Washington—goes to show yet again how physical activity is among the
strongest strategies for preventing cancer, and that, if anything,
synthetic turf fields aid this fight against cancer.”

Michael Peterson, a board-certified toxicologist with nearly 20 years of
experience, and Scientific Advisor to the Recycled Rubber Council, said,
“The findings address an area of uncertainty and lend further credence
to the many available scientific analyses on this topic with consistent
conclusions: The best evidence indicates there are not safety risks
associated with chemicals found in recycled rubber infill.”

The full Washington DOH report can be found at this link:

About the Recycled Rubber Council

The Recycled Rubber Council (RRC) serves manufacturers, processors, and
distributors of recycled rubber products; entities that supply products
or services to those that manufacture or process recycled rubber
products; and individuals or entities that benefit from recycled rubber
products. Its mission is to communicate, advocate, and educate about the
safety and beneficial uses of recycled rubber. For more information,
please visit

About the Safe Fields Alliance

The Safe Fields Alliance (SFA) is a coalition dedicated to educating
stakeholders around the safety of synthetic turf fields and crumb
rubber, including that based on an overwhelming amount of scientific
evidence, there is no link between turf and crumb rubber and health
issues. Three of the leading North American manufacturers of synthetic
turf fields – FieldTurf, Sprinturf, and AstroTurf, working alongside
several leading recycled rubber manufacturers, came together to help
alleviate concerns related to this issue. For more information, please

About the Synthetic Turf Council

Based in Maryland, the Synthetic Turf Council was founded in 2003 to
promote the industry and to assist buyers and end users with the
selection, use and maintenance of synthetic turf systems in sports
field, golf, municipal parks, airports, landscape and residential
applications. The organization is also a resource for current, credible,
and independent research on the safety and environmental impact of
synthetic turf, as well as technical guidance on the selection,
installation, maintenance, and environmentally responsible disposal of
synthetic turf. Membership includes builders, landscape architects,
testing labs, maintenance providers, manufacturers, suppliers,
installation contractors, infill material suppliers and other specialty
service companies. For more information, visit


Sloane & Company
Joe Germani / Roger Sauerhaft