Synthetic Turf Lawsuits: Can Artificial Grass Cause Cancer?

October 9, 2014

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At A Glance

This Alert Affects
Individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer after spending an extended amount of time on artificial turf at sports fields, playgrounds and sports venues.
What's the Problem?
Synthetic turf contains mercury, lead, benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, arsenic and other carcinogens. These substances have been linked to several types of cancer, including leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Who's At Risk?
It is believed that children who play sports, such as soccer, on artificial turf fields may be at the greatest risk for developing cancer.
What Is 'Crumb Rubber'?
"Crumb rubber" is used in artificial turf fields to fill the space between the grass blades. It is a form of recycled rubber made from automobile and truck tires. The EPA states that a number of materials, including lead and benzene, may be found in tires. Therefore, some believe that these same substances may also be present in artificial turf fields across the country.
Have Lawsuits Been Filed?
Yes – and three of the country's biggest manufacturers of artificial turf, Field Turf, AstroTurf LLC and Beaulieu Group, have already agreed to reduce the amount of lead in their products. This came after the California Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit alleging that the companies failed to warn the public about harmful substances in their artificial turf products. These lawsuits did not provide compensation to those injured as a result of exposure to synthetic turf.