Dangerous to athletes?

News about local high schools with synthetic turf fields using rubber pellets as cushioning agents paints a rosy picture (“Night of firsts in Tallmadge,” Aug. 30). But for many of the students who come into repeated contact, ingest, or bring the pellets into their homes on their clothing, a sinister, life-threatening effect looms large for the rest of their lives.

According to a recent Environmental Protection Agency study, these pellets are made from discarded, used tires that are ground down to pebble form — tires that have been exposed to and incorporate every toxin that exists on roads. Before that, they went through many chemical and industrial processes to turn them into durable products.

A recent study found more than 306 chemicals in rubber pellet samples taken from fields. Of these, 197 were found to be potentially carcinogenic. Should children be knowingly exposed to even one at any school activity?

Mounting anecdotal evidence suggests a link between long-term exposure to pellets and blood cancer diagnoses like lymphoma and leukemia of many young athletes. Moreover, it is understood that exposure to certain toxins plant seeds of malignancy that often take decades to manifest into a variety of cancers and other deadly diseases.

The claims companies make that the jury is still out about the carcinogenic potential of rubber pellets has the ring of the notorious “cigarettes don’t cause cancer” lie.

If it is illegal to burn tires because of the potential toxic risks, why do we allow our children to be exposed to them on their school athletic fields?

Greg Brozeit, Fairlawn

 

Sacrificed to NRA

Seven more people killed and 22 injured in another mass shooting. Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro got it just right with this response to the Aug. 31 tragedy in Texas. He tweeted: “I want to reach out to Republicans in the Senate, who refuse to act, who refuse to move on gun reform, and I want to ask them: What is the number? How many Americans are you willing to sacrifice to the NRA?”

It’s true, Americans are being sacrificed to the National Rifle Association. Senate Republicans know that there is broad public support for common sense legislation like tighter background checks, red flag laws, banning assault-style weapons and large-capacity ammunition clips. Will such laws stop all shootings? Of course not, but they will prevent some dangerous people from getting guns and they will prevent those who do become shooters from being able to kill masses of people.

Every Republican senator should be asked: “What is the number, for you? How many more need to die before you stop peddling the NRA’s excuses about mental health problems and video games, when you know that other nations with sensible gun laws have the same issues but far fewer gun deaths? How many more need to die before you stop cowering before the NRA?”

Let’s start with our own, NRA “A” rated, Rob Portman.

Mary Hoot, Cuyahoga Falls

 

Stop the bailout

Have you seen the commercials flooding mailboxes and airwaves from the nuclear folks? The one with the “blame the Chinese” message. They are obviously spending lots of cash to prevent a referendum on House Bill 6. Millions spent on behalf of a bankrupt company — don’t ask me how.

A good rule of thumb from the farm about those with the most money is they need a bigger spreader to cast a heavier load of manure.

Sign the petition; put House Bill 6 to a fair vote by the people.

Thomas Collins, Garrettsville