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NBC News Reports Generate Congressional Inquiry

NBC News reports on the possible cancer risk of recycled rubber tire crumbs used in synthetic turf fields has drawn the attention and concern of the leadership of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

NBC News says that "despite repeated requests for interviews-- the EPA has remained largely silent," and points out that when  NBC News Correspondent Stephanie Gosk buttonholed EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy "in a Capitol Hill hallway" earlier this fall, she would not address the safety issue, saying: "I have nothing to say about that right now."

In a letter dated Oct. 23 (, the legislators wrote to the McCarthy citing the network's stories of Oct. 8. 2014 and Oct. 1, 2015.

"These stories and others raise questions among athletes and parents that crumb rubber on artificial turf athletic fields may represent a pathway to exposure to one of more carcinogens," they wrote. 

They asked for answers to a bunch of questions by Nov. 6. including whether it has determined whether exposure to crumb rubbers is a hazard to human health.

Signing the letter were Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the committee; Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), ranking member; John Shimkus

(R-Ill.), chairman of the Environmental Subcommittee; and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.).

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.