CHICAGO (CBS) — 2 Investigator Brad Edwards reported last month that a popular, indoor suburban soccer field contained potentially cancer-causing materials.
Now, environmental groups, parents and even Niles Mayor Andrew Przybylo are calling on the Niles Park District to remove the surface.READ MORE: Chauncey Spencer II Takes To The Road With Stories Of African Americans In Flight, Including A Stop In Chicago
The artificial turf field was installed at the LoVerde Sports & Recreation Center in Niles. Completed last fall, the 70,000-square-foot center includes a dance studio, gym and soccer fields.
The soccer field’s infill contains crumb rubber, or bits of ground-up tires, which contain cancer-causing materials. Concerns about crumb rubber’s safety led the Environmental Protection
Agency to launch a review of the material. That study is still ongoing.
Until the field’s safety is confirmed, Przybylo and others say the park district shouldn’t wait to take action.READ MORE: 13-Year-Old Boy, 19-Year-Old Man Shot In West Garfield Park
“Regardless of the cost it should be taken out,” the mayor says.
The Niles Park District operates the center. It is a separate government agency and doesn’t fall under the mayor’s purview.
A park district official had no comment. The district’s board plans to meet at 6 p.m. Thursday Feb. 15 to discuss the issue. The center’s use of crumb rubber was first reported by Edwards last month.
Edwards reached out to Dan Bond, president and CEO of the Synthetic Turf Council. In a statement, Bond notes the 2018 Super Bowl was played on a crumb rubber field.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: A Sunny Start
“Recent reports have indicated that it is safe for all people to play sports on these fields,” he says.“We are confident that in its ongoing study, EPA will ultimately reach the same conclusion of the many scientific studies to date that uniformly find no links to any negative health effects from recycled rubber.”