Ocean City had planned to spend as much as $1.75 million to repair the track and install artificial turf at Carey Stadium, adjacent to Ocean City High School, near Sixth Street and Boardwalk. But, citing questions about health risks, Mayor Jay Gillian and City Council discontinued the artificial turf portion of project on Tuesday.An NBC News report that raised questions about a potential connection between artificial turf fields and cancer set in motion the events that led to Ocean City suspending its push to replace the grass field at Carey Stadium.Mayor Jay Gillian announced Tuesday that the city would discontinue the planned project until further study of the possible health risk is completed.City Council President Tony Wilson said the change of plans was a joint decision between the mayor’s administration and council members.“It’s the right decision at the time for the kids,” he said.Councilman Keith Hartzell said he had expressed concerns about moving forward with the project to the city administration after hosting Darren Gill, the director of marketing for FieldTurf, on his WOND-AM 1400 radio show on Friday night.FieldTurf has supplied material for 7,000 fields nationwide for professional teams, universities and more than 2,500 high schools.Hartzell said Wednesday he has done detailed research on other aspects of artificial turf fields, but he was not reassured by Gill’s response when asked about the potential health risks associated with the “rubber crumbs” used as fill to soften artificial turf surfaces.Jim Mallon, assistant to Gillian, said the mayor reached out independently to council members after the NBC News report came out, and he said the decision to discontinue the project was made collaboratively.The NBC report centered on a University of Washington assistant women’s soccer coach who knows two female goalies diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Amy Griffin reportedly found 38 American soccer players (including 34 goalies) throughout the United States who have been diagnosed with different forms of cancer.“No research has linked cancer to artificial turf,” Hannah Rappleye writes in the NBC report. “Griffin collected names through personal experience with sick players, and acknowledges that her list is not a scientific data set. But it’s enough to make her ask whether crumb rubber artificial turf, a product that has been rolled out in tens of thousands of parks, playgrounds, schools and stadiums in the U.S., is safe for the athletes and kids who play on it.”U.S. Rep Frank Pallone (D-Middlesex, Monmouth) last week requested an official study of the potential effects of exposure to chemicals from the crumb rubber used in turf fields. Pallone made his request in a letter to to the acting director of the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry within the federal Department of Health and Human Services.City Council on Sept. 25 gave final approval to an ordinance that put $1.25 million of new funding in place to install the artificial turf field and to resurface the track at Carey Stadium, the home field for Ocean City High School and the location of many non-school events. Another $500,000 was already in place for the project. The measure did not authorize spending or award a contract for the work.The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey soccer team plays on artificial turf, as do teams from St. Augustine Prep in Buena Vista Township and Egg Harbor Township High School.