Six Philadelphia Phillies Died From Brain Cancer. AstroTurf Suspected Of Being The Cause.
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In the wake of the sixth former Philadelphia Phillie to die of brain cancer, suspicions have arisen that a possible cause of their deaths was the “forever chemicals” found in the artificial turf they played on in Veterans Stadium.

Ken Brett (2003), Tug McGraw (2004), Johnny Oates (2004), John Vukovich (2007), Darren Daulton (2017), and David West (2022) all died from glioblastoma, an aggressive, deadly form of brain cancer. The Philadelphia Inquirer bought four souvenir samples of the AstroTurf from the stadium, which was demolished in 2004, and had Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories Environmental Testing examine them. Results showed 16 different types of PFAS, or per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, aka “forever chemicals,” within them. University of Notre Dame researchers tested two other samples and found PFAS.

“It was just sad all the way around to lose all those guys. To lose them that way,” former Phillies pitcher Larry Christenson told the Inquirer. “Then you start thinking, with Vuke, Darren Daulton — it opened a can of worms: ‘Whoa. Why are all of our teammates dying? Is there something that can narrow it down?’”

Apprised of the fact that the six Phillies had died from glioblastoma, Jacob de Boer, an environmental chemist at the Free University of Amsterdam, commented, “That is such a high number that it is worrying.”

The artificial turf could reach as high as 165 degrees, releasing gases that could be inhaled. “In the dugout, the team put boxes with ice on the stairs leading up to the clubhouse,” former Phillies catcher Bob Boone recalled. “I’d come in and see guys standing with their feet in the boxes. I used to spend my day laughing at them: ‘Getting hot out there?’”

Two studies, one from China and another from Italy, posited that PFA chemicals could be linked to cancer. The Chinese study found the chemicals in brain tissue and the Italian study discovered the chemicals stored in the brains of people who drank PFAS-contaminated water.

“Once PFAS gets into [a person’s] blood, they circulate through all the organs,” University of Notre Dame physicist Graham Peaslee, who has studied PFA compounds, said. “We know that the liver is affected. We know that the kidneys are affected. We know the testicles are affected. But nobody’s ever done the study to see if the brain is affected, because glioblastoma is such a rare disease.”

Timothy Rebbeck of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, cautioned, “We’re never going to have a good measure of what the Phillies players were exposed to.”


“The materials used in synthetic turf have been thoroughly reviewed by both federal and state government agencies and are considered to be nonhazardous,” Melanie Taylor, the president and CEO of the Synthetic Turf Council, stated. “Going forward, our members will continue to pay close attention to evolving regulations and standards to ensure the highest safety of our products.”

Brett’s daughter Sheridan, now 34, worries about the artificial turf kids still play on. “Those chemicals don’t go away,” she said. “Who is in contact with them now?”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Six Philadelphia Phillies Died From Brain Cancer. AstroTurf Suspected Of Being The Cause.