The Woodlands Township opted to move forward with plans for three artificial turf sports fields and two natural grass fields after hearing expert opinions that a substance used as infill on some artificial turf fields does not cause cancer.
In October, the township board deferred a decision on whether to install crumb rubber-based artificial turf at its planned 25-acre Gosling Sports Park after an NBC News report detailed alleged increased cancer rates in youth soccer players based on an informal and unscientific study conducted by a Seattle soccer coach. The coach's study focused on former players who played on crumb-rubber-based artificial turf.
However, the township board was assured by its consultant on the project, DMA Sports, that there is no link between the artificial turf and cancer.
"In discussions with DMA, they contend there is limited evidence to support the findings reported in the news and that the current sand and rubber infill mixture at Alden Bridge Sports Park and Bear Branch Sportfields [is] safe," the township reported.
The board approved $4.9 million worth of work that includes installation of three artificial turf fields that will not use crumb rubber, but rather an alternative infill, and two natural grass fields.
The concept design of the Gosling Sports Park features five fields that could house activities for a variety of sports.