Calls for a government-led investigation of the potential negative health effects of crumb rubber turf are getting louder, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission is listening. Crumb rubber turf infill consists of black pellets of ground-up rubber, and it’s become increasingly popular in the construction of sports fields. Some are concerned, however, that crumb rubber turf may expose athletes to cancer-causing chemicals.

On Wednesday, January 27, CPSC chairman Elliot F. Kaye, in statements to a Florida television station, indicated that CPSC will investigate the potential risks of rubber turf.

Kaye’s statements came days after Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote to the White House asking the Obama administration to spearhead a comprehensive study into the safety of crumb rubber turf. The Senators also wrote to Kaye in November 2015, seeking the CPSC’s greater involvement.

Last week, both Senators pointed out the need for more knowledge of possible hazards of crumb rubber turf.

“The bottom line is that the federal government needs to do all that it can to determine whether crumb rubber turf poses a health risk,” said Nelson.

“People need and deserve to know whether crumb rubber turf is safe,” stated Blumenthal, who also noted that “[o]nly an independent, authoritative federal investigation” can answer health and safety questions about crumb rubber turf.

Safety questions about rubber turf were initially highlighted in late 2015 in an ESPN report on the growing debate. An excerpt of that report can be viewed here.