Dutch study: Synthetic fields with rubber crumbs are safe

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) A Dutch government public health organization says it is safe to play soccer and other sports on artificial turf fields covered in rubber crumbs, following an investigation triggered by fears over dangerous chemicals in the granules.

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The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment published a report Tuesday saying that the health risk from playing on such fields, which are common throughout the Netherlands and elsewhere as low-maintenance alternatives to natural grass, is “virtually negligible.”

The crumbs, usually made from old car tires, give synthetic turf fields properties similar to real grass – they ensure the ball does not bounce too high and make the synthetic fields better suited for sliding tackles.

The Dutch probe tested 100 sports fields and studied available scientific literature.