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NFL and Players' Union report safety study on football helmets

The associated press reports that the NFL has just completed results of a study sponsored by the league and the players’ union.  The study concludes that modern helmets meet all national safety standards, though it stressed that no helmet can prevent concussions and more studies are necessary.

The results were forwarded to teams on Friday, along with a memo from commissioner Roger Goodell outlining the study and a question-and-answer brief designed for players.

"The study should be regarded as an initial step in learning more about the effectiveness of safety equipment," Goodell said in his memo, which was obtained by The Associated Press. "It is not a definitive statement on helmet performance."

The study, which began last year, involved two independent labs that tested each of the 16 commercially available helmets for impacts similar to what would be felt by an NFL player in the open field. Eight locations on each helmet were tested using four speeds of impact, based on an analysis of game film and computer models in an attempt to replicate actual hits.

The raw data was examined by two independent biomechanical engineers and a statistician, and reviewed by the NFL's new Head, Neck and Spine Committee and doctors from the players' union.

The information sent to each NFL team and its training staff included a line in bold-faced print that said "no helmet, including these top-performing helmets, can prevent concussions or reduce the risk of concussion to any specified degree."

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