Just few hours before, one of our Sports Engineering buddies (we call our students buddies) shared a disturbing news headline. “Ex NHS chief blames artificial 3G pitches for the death of his son.” News is from United Kingdom. Lewis Maguire, 20, a goalkeeper from Darlington, passed away on Monday just a month after he thought he had won a four-year battle against Hodgkin lymphoma. His father Nigel, 54, fears his son’s cancer was sparked by playing on synthetic pitches. Rubber pellets added to the pitches to give them bounce contain toxic chemicals including mercury, lead, benzene and arsenic.

Internet contains many disturbing information regarding artificial football pitches. It is an alarming information. Artificial pitches cause more injury than the natural grass. The rubber granules used in the turf contains harmful chemicals. A Norwegian study evaluated the dangers of using styrene butadiene rubber (rubber crumb) in the composition of artificial turf found that “the component spectrum has a clear signature from the rubber granulate and contains a considerable number of components which are associated with adverse effects on health.”

Since there is no proven clinical evidence that the artificial grasses cause cancer, it is our discretion to use the information. Our Sports Engineering buddies at Sports & Management Research Institute (SMRI) is commencing a study on this and also plans to find out a suitable safer substitute for rubber pellets. We invite your views and ideas in this issue. Please send your comments to

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