Missouri S&T’s Peer to Peer


In recent years, synthetic turf playing surfaces have been rapidly replacing natural grass fields across the country. This includes middle school and high school sports fields and parks, meaning children and adolescents are the primary age groups being exposed to any potential adverse effects of these surfaces. With any technology that affects children, it is critical that the risks that the technology potentially poses to them be thoroughly explored and understood. A college soccer coach by the name of Amy Griffin brought the safety concerns over these turf fields to the minds of the American public when she noticed an increased number of past and current players who had developed a form of cancer known as lymphoma. This prompted research to determine the cause of this sudden spike. This review analyzes studies that attempt to identify a link between the use of turf fields and increased incidences of cancer. It also reviews studies looking into the toxicity of turf field components. The goal of this analysis was to provide an overview of this issue in hopes of either dispelling or garnering concern regarding the safety of these fields and to inspire more research on this topic.