Letters to the Editor: Praise for “Are artificial turf fields carcinogenic?”

November 8, 2013 — by Eileen Toh

To the Editor:

About a year and a half ago, my older sister Allison Toh (2012 alumna) participated in the girls’ powderpuff team during Spring Fling week. Despite all of the fun she got from the games, she also was left with a small gash on her knee that was a result from a tackle on the football field. Our whole family thought that it was “no big deal” and that since it looked like a little cut, it would heal eventually.

 However, a few weeks later, the skin around the knee looked very infected, which I won’t spend time describing, because her knee looked absolutely disgusting. I’d always see her itching her knee from time to time, but no one really knew why the rash on her knee would quickly spread to everywhere on her leg. Since her knee got in an extremely bad condition one night, we immediately brought her to the emergency room. The doctors said that the chemicals from the crumb rubber on the artificial turf contaminated her knee, and if they don’t do anything soon, the chemicals can hurt her bones and kidney. She got hospitalized right after, and fortunately got better. Our family still wanted to know what chemicals were actually in the “treasures” of the turf and if people actually cared about the effects of these chemicals, since they almost nearly killed my sister. 

When I read last week’s issue, I noticed that there was finally an article on artificial turf fields so I quickly flipped to read it. All of the facts included in the article helped answer my questions. I also showed my family and my sister the article, and they were really happy that someone finally paid attention to the carcinogens on the football field.

I do agree that we should change out our artificial turf, but like you said, the chances are very slim. Not many people know the effects of the carcinogens in the turf, but hopefully they will  all read your article because it is very informative and worth reading. Thank you, and sorry that I wrote a super long letter!


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