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Cancer patterns among soccer goalies who played on synthetic turf fields increase concerns

When one looks at the cancers that the soccer goalies who played on synthetic field are getting - most of the cancers are lymphomas.  Lymphomas are cancers that are heavily influenced by environmental factors. The infill of synthetic turf fields is made up of ground up rubber tires that contain many carcinogenic compounds.

Scientist understand today, that when a population that is exposed in a particular setting comes down with one type of cancer it is often caused by an exposure to a specific group of chemical carcinogens that are in that particular  environment.

The presence of a single type of tumor, or cancer,  rather than the normal distribution of cancers expected in the overall population of that age group, is in itself an indication that the affected population is being exposed to the same chemical carcinogens.

Amy Griffin, assistant soccer coach at the University of Washington, reported lymphoma incidences among soccer goalies to NBC news. The  number of lymphomas in the population of athletes who played on synthetic turf she collected is much higher than would be normally expected.  This  suggests that the athletes who have come down with lymphomas and have played on synthetic turf for years, may have all been exposed to the same chemical carcinogens just like those found in rubber tire infill.

The attached chart shows the normal distribution of lymphomas in 15 to 19 year olds who are treated for cancer nationally.  Those percentages are 13.5% for Hodgkin's lymphoma;  8.3% for non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma;  and 1.1% for Burkitt's Lymphoma.  Data from the attached chart chart can be found at:  EPA's "America's Children and the Environment"

The percentage of lymphomas in the population of athletes who played on synthetic turf collected by Amy Griffin is much higher than this.




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