vendredi 27 janvier 2017

Cancer and soccer and artificial turf

Here is an interesting interaction of everyday common sense evaluation and genuine scientific analysis. What would appear to be a clear case of cause and effect is found to be not so under closer scrutiny.

Soccer players' cancers ignite debate over turf safety


Originally Posted by CNN
Jean Bryant, a Seattle mother of three boys, remembers the moment when her friend Amy Griffin first mentioned those "little black dots."

It was about seven years ago, and their children were in preschool together. Griffin, assistant head coach of women's soccer at the University of Washington, mentioned to Bryant how "it was weird" that some of her current and former players, especially goalkeepers, had been diagnosed with cancer.

Griffin turned to Bryant and said she wondered whether cancer was somehow associated with those "little black dots" on the artificial turf fields where they play, which were then replacing natural grass fields. Those dots are recycled tire crumbs. "I didn't think much of it until my son," Bryant said. Years after that conversation, just before he turned 14, Jack Bryant was diagnosed with cancer. He's a soccer goalie...

...However, the study results from the Washington State Department of Health investigation did not suggest that soccer players are at an increased risk for cancer due to the tire crumbs.

The results showed that the cancer rate among soccer players in the investigation, based on Griffin's list, was actually less than expected compared with the cancer rate among all Washington residents of similar ages.

For the players' cancer cases to be a cluster, there would have to be a greater-than-expected number of cases of the same type of cancer, according to criteria listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

via International Skeptics Forum

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