Artificial turf is made out of a number of different materials. However, one component that helps to provide cushion is called crumb rubber. These tiny pieces of rubber are made from used tires that have been ground up into pellets. This crumb rubber is the suspected cause of cancer that has affected a number of athletes lately. If you have been exposed to artificial turf, and you have been diagnosed with cancer, you may be able to file an artificial turf lawsuit and collect compensation to cover medical bills and other damages.
Artificial turf is most often used in arenas for sports that are played on grass. It is now being used on residential and commercial lawns as well. Artificial turf is low maintenance and stands up to heavy use, such as in sports and requires no watering or cutting.
One of the main components of artificial turf is called crumb rubber. These rubber pellets are made from grinding up old car and truck tires, and then they are sprinkled on the grass so they settle between the synthetic blades. The result is a padded surface that doesn’t hurt as much when an athlete falls against it. However, since they are not adhered to the turf, they have a tendency to bounce out from between the blades. Most of the time they settle back in between the blades of grass, but often they will get stuck in hair, clothes, sweaty skin, open scrapes or cuts on the player’s body or be swallowed or inhaled.
Once inside the body, the chemicals and toxins in the rubber start to take their toll. Carcinogens in the rubber such as arsenic, benzene, cadmium, nickel and lead spark the development of cancer, primarily those related to the blood like Lymphoma and Leukemia. It may take several years for the athlete to finally be diagnosed with one of these rare forms of cancer.
There have been a number of cases, especially among soccer goal keepers (due to the fact they hit the ground more often than other players), of cancer. The most common are cancers of the blood.
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (and the related non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) is one of the most common types of cancer caused by exposure to crumb rubber. This disease attacks the white blood cells in the body, weakening the immune system which leaves the body essentially defenseless against infection.
Leukemia is another blood cancer that can be caused by exposure to crumb rubber. Similar to lymphoma, leukemia affects the white blood cells, but this cancer causes abnormal white blood cells to be produced; these abnormal cells cannot do their job properly.
Can I file a lawsuit if I have have been injured by Artificial Turf?
Possibly. If a manufacturer produces a dangerous or defective product, it can be held responsible to those who are injured as the result of inadequate warnings, under a legal theory known as “product liability.” Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, damages may include recovery for any of the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Emotional distress
If you or a loved one has been harmed by Artificial Turf, you should contact your doctor immediately. You may also wish to contact an experienced Artificial Turf lawyer to discuss your legal options. As all legal claims are subject to time limits, however, you may risk forfeiture of your right to financial compensation if you delay.