“Forever chemicals,” which advocates claim have caused cancer clusters in areas like Willow Grove, have now been linked to the deaths of six Phillies.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — According to a news report published on patch.com, the Inquirer reported that Veterans Stadium, known for its sports legacy, had a concealed secret: the artificial turf that was once hailed as a technological marvel contained per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, a group of “forever” chemicals linked to cancer and other harmful effects. The report is the first to establish a definitive link between PFAS and the playing surface of the Vet, which had already come under scrutiny and lost popularity due to the number of joint injuries it caused players. PFAS is already infamous in the Philadelphia area, sparking scandal in communities nationwide.
The Inquirer reporters also warned the public about old Vet turf souvenir samples that were sold online were tested by a local laboratory, Eurofins Environmental Testing Laboratory. The investigative study was the first of its kind to link PFAS to the Vet’s playing surface.
Six former Phillies who played on Veterans Stadium turf, which was home to the Eagles and the Phillies from 1971 to 2003, have all died from glioblastoma. Glioblastoma is an aggressive type of brain cancer. The names of these baseball legends, such as Darren Daulton, John Vukovich, David West, John Oates, Tug McGraw, and Ken Brett, and were familiar to fans from Philadelphia’s baseball golden age. A 2017 New York Times article quoted several Phillies who have all voiced their concerns about the link between the synthetic turf and brain cancer, after Daulton’s tragic diagnosis and passing. While there was no scientific evidence to support the synthetic turf and brain cancer connection then, the Inquirer report does provide definitive proof.
Glioblastoma, a type of aggressive brain cancer, has a low survival rate, with only 30% of patients surviving for two years and 6.8% surviving for five years, according to the National Brain Tumor Society. The disease has been diagnosed for over a century, but there has been little progress in developing effective treatments. Most patients succumb to the disease within 12-18 months.
Rumors have persisted for years, with the connection between so many world-class athletes dying young and long careers on the turf raising concerns. Catcher Gary Carter, a Hall of Famer, died from the same cancer at 57, and longtime outfielder Bobby Murcer died from it at 62. A 2013 study found that the cancer rate among the 533 Phillies who played on the Vet’s turf was three times that of the average American man.
In recent years, awareness of the health risks associated with PFAS has increased.
Last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took the strongest action on PFAS regulation yet, reducing the acceptable drinking water standard from 70 parts per trillion (ppt) to 0.02 for PFOS chemicals, and 0.004 for PFOA. PFAS have been in use since the 1940s to make products resistant to water and heat, including cookware, carpets, furniture fabrics, and firefighting foams. Due to a lack of regulation, PFAS are now ubiquitous in the environment, with a few uses still remaining.
Advocates and organizers have been warning about the health consequences of PFAS for some time, particularly in areas where they believe clusters of illness have emerged, such as at Willow Grove. U.S. manufacturers have phased out PFAS and PFOS, which were once widely used in packaging and other products. While only five Major League Baseball parks still use artificial turf today. Those five Major League Baseball parks that still use artificial turf include:
- Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays),
- Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays),
- Sahlen Field (Buffalo Bisons, the Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate),
- Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks), and
- T-Mobile Park (Seattle Mariners).
Artificial turf is still the playing surface at the following 14 NFL stadiums:
- AT&T Stadium (Dallas Cowboys)
- CenturyLink Field (Seattle Seahawks)
- Ford Field (Detroit Lions)
- Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots)
- Levi’s Stadium (San Francisco 49ers)
- Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis Colts)
- M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore Ravens)
- Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans Saints)
- MetLife Stadium (New York Giants and New York Jets)
- NRG Stadium (Houston Texans)
- Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati Bengals)
- Raymond James Stadium (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
- Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Denver Broncos)
- U.S. Bank Stadium (Minnesota Vikings)
If you or a loved one have been exposed to PFAS and have been diagnosed with glioblastoma brain cancer, it’s important to take action now. The time to file your claim to obtain compensation for your injuries and damages is limited by state law. Contact Parker Waichman today to get the legal help you need. Our experienced attorneys are ready to fight for your rights and help you obtain the monetary compensation you or your loved one deserves.
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Our national PFAS Cancer Lawsuit Attorneys understand the devastating impact that a glioblastoma diagnosis can have on you and your family, and we are here to help you understand your legal options. Call us now at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to receive a free, no-obligation consultation.
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