Posted on Oct 16, 2014

Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien Washington hasn’t had a home game on its football field in more than 40 years.

The new football field was set to open next week, before the school made a last minute change to the field.

There is a nationwide concern that crumb rubber found in most artificial turfs may cause cancer.

The crumb rubber made up of ground tires that are used as infill in the fake grass on the field helps absorb shock, but it can also infiltrate odd places. According to a football player, occasionally a little bead ends up in your eye.

The school was days away from the infill process, regardless the school made the decision to stop everything.

Administrators heard news reports where University of Washington’s assistant soccer coach voiced her concerns on the issue. She compiled a list of at least 50 soccer players nationwide that have cancer and think there may be a link between the crumb rubber and cancer.

Currently there is no consensus regarding the cancerous properties of the crumb rubber.

Kennedy Catholic High School is aware that scientific testing will take time to be completed and reviewed. Therefore they have decided to prevent any unnecessary risk to the student athletes and replace the black rubber filling with a cutting edge product called Nike Grind. Nike Grind is simply ground up tennis shoe soles provided by the Nike Corporation.

This field will be one of only a few nationwide to feature this recycled material and the only known high school in Washington to do so.

The cost of swapping out the crumb rubber for the Nike Grind material will cost the school at least $20,000 more than the previous plan. Regardless, administrators felt that this change was the most conservative and sound decision when facing limited information beyond the news report.


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Gerry Oginski
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