A former top executive at British National Healthcare Service is calling for a ban on the artificial turf he believes caused his now-18 year old son to develop Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Nigel Maguire and his son, Lewis, have been raising awareness of the potential toxicity of the recycled rubber particles widely used in children’s fields and playgrounds – and people are beginning to listen.
Nigel Maguire worked as a chief executive of NHS Cumbria, taking an early retirement to be available to care for Lewis, who had received his cancer diagnosis two years prior. Lewis had been an active teen and was in the middle of a 12-week trial with Leeds United football club when he fell ill. His father is convinced there is a link between his illness and the crumb rubber used on his son’s playing fields, saying, “He used to come home with his kit covered in the stuff. We’d have to scrape it off.”
Football (or soccer) players who train on artificial turf are exposed to crumb rubber risks through inhalation, accidental swallowing, and the material being absorbed into cuts and scrapes. Maguire voices his frustration regarding the lack of research into the connection between crumb rubber, made from recycled tires, and cancer risk, stating, “It is obscene so little research has been done. This multibillion-dollar industry is conducting an industrial-scale experiment on our kids – it’s a scandal.”
Just this month the U.S. government announced it will launch a triple-agency investigation into the potential cancer link, following an excruciating silence from the EPA. Maguire demands a ban on training on artificial fields and a moratorium on building new facilities with the material until its health risks are investigated. The Daily Mail reports that Lewis’ doctor is in agreement about the need for research on crumb rubber’s effects and that The Football Association is “aware of the concerns and are monitoring industry research as well as conducting our own.”
Via The Daily Mail