The city installed more than 200 synthetic turf athletic fields that contain a substance known as crumb rubber, linked by some to certain types of cancer, in the past couple decades. But since putting a halt to the installation of these fields in 2008, the city said it has no intention of removing them until they need to be replaced from wear.
Made from ground-up car tires, crumb rubber can contain up to seven carcinogenic chemical compounds, according to the nonprofit health organization Environmental and Human Health Inc.
New York City Parks Advocates President Geoffrey Croft said there have been growing concerns around the country that excessive play on crumb rubber fields is linked to cancer.
While some are tracking cancer clusters in cities across the country trying to find a link, there has been much industry-sponsored counter-research suggesting data on exposure to the chemicals in the turf were insufficient to link attribution to cancer.
Queens has 35 crumb rubber fields.
The city Department of Parks and Recreation said it continues to monitor conditions at all of its fields regularly. If conditions of any particular field merit replacement, the department said it would go about its standard capital process to do so.