Dangerous soccer fields? The doctor: “Limit the use of pesticides”

The expert: “The doubts raised by Dino Baggio are not irrelevant”

The problem of the risks deriving from the substances used to ‘treat’ the grass on soccer fields, raised by Dino Baggio after yet another death, that of Gianluca Vialli, “is by no means irrelevant, above all if one considers that there are professionals who spend many hours in these fields, but also non-professionals and young people in the prime of their development”. Thus Celestino Panizza, co-coordinator of the pesticides group of the Association of doctors for the environment (Isde Italia), comments to Adnkronos Salute the doubts raised by the former midfielder of the national team who asked for “scientific answers” on the fact that the “herbicides scattered on the fields where I played may have caused the illnesses” of many colleagues.

“One cannot think of safeguarding the health of those who roll around on that grass by maintaining the use of substances that are biologically active. Substances that are problematic from the point of view of health – recalls Panizza – Just think of the high incidence of ALS among footballers, on which we cannot speak of a direct cause and effect, but one thing is certain: pesticides are neurotoxic, they cause Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, so much so that in France Parkinson’s is classified as an occupational disease in farmers. also in a study in Emilia Romagna. As well as the risk of cancer: the carcinogenic effect of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides is demonstrated in a myriad of studies”.

“For this – is the doctor’s warning – we urgently need to change the rules and study alternative methods in agriculture and beyond. We remind you that over half of the groundwater in Italy is polluted by these substances, to which we are exposed from the very first moments of life. And it is documented that they have neurological effects on development, even on the fetus from exposure of the mother. This is true not only in agriculture, but also in places such as sports fields, so much so that in France they have set themselves the problem of limiting the ‘use of pesticides on playing fields’. In particular “glyphosate, the most widely used pesticide in the world, has well documented negative impacts on human health and the environment, as it has its own intrinsic toxicity, has carcinogenic effects and is an endocrine disruptor, but unfortunately its use has been further extended at European level”.