Are Ping Pong Balls Toxic? Basic Knowledge You Must Know

The ping pong ball is a very popular ball that people use in playing tennis. However, have you ever wondered if there is any danger behind these seemingly innocuous balls? Are these balls dangerous to your children’s health when playing with them?

All your concerns and questions will be addressed in this article, “Are Ping Pong Balls Toxic?. Let’s scroll down!


Table Tennis Balls For Player – Buying Guide: How to Pick Up Ping Pong Ball?

What Ping Pong Balls Are Used In The Olympics?

What Are Table Tennis Balls Made Of?

If you want to know whether they are toxic, first and foremost, you must understand what materials they are. More specifically, please make sure that you check wherever these substances are dangerous for the health of humans and animals.

Let’s look back at the first table tennis balls, which first appeared in the 1800s. They were made from poor coarse materials such as rubber with fabric and cork covered in webbing.

Because these balls were made of rubber, they had a bouncy high level that made it difficult for players to take full control. Therefore, people produced table tennis balls with celluloid and plastic materials in the 1900s.

More about these materials, celluloid is a plastic synthetic material related to the substances used to make photographic film. In other words, it is the result of the compound – camphor and nitrocellulose. Manufacturers apply this chemical to make ping-pong balls because of their durability, lightness, and low price.

Are Ping Pong Balls Toxic?

To know if table tennis balls are toxic or not, you must thoroughly understand the material people use to produce them – namely celluloid. Then, is celluloid a toxic substance?

Firstly, we can assure you that celluloid is not a toxic chemical if you only touch its external surface. Reality has proven that many toys, decorations, or even jewelry manufacturers also use celluloid for their products. Before a product officially launches on the market, it must undergo the most rigorous testing of all ingredients to ensure safety for human health.

Therefore, you don’t have to worry about those celluloid ping pong balls. They are completely harmless when in contact with the surface of the skin.

However, you may smell a strange and slightly unpleasant chemical odor like modeling glue or photographic film odors when you soak them in hot water. Don’t worry too much if you accidentally inhale the fumes, as this is only a chemical reaction of celluloid when it comes to hot water.

Please also keep in mind that small camphor amounts are not harmful, but it would be dangerous for your health if you regularly inhale large amounts of these fumes.

Are Ping Pong Balls Flammable?

The sad news is YES, and the main cause lies in nitro-cellulose. This is a very flammable substance, and it will burn if exposed to high temperatures. Hence, this means that when you place your balls in high-temperature places, it is very likely that they will burn themselves or explode in some cases.

This explanation also demonstrates the strange odor you will smell when you dip this product in warm liquid; that’s because nitro-cellulose meets high temperature and melts. However, the warmth of the hot water is not enough to make your balls ignite or explode. Relax!

To avoid cases of table tennis balls spontaneously burning or exploding, you should store them in low-temperature reservations after playing.

Is This Safe For Children?

As mentioned earlier, they are completely harmless when in contact with normal skin surfaces. Thus, if your children are interested and passionate about playing ping pong, let them indulge in the pursuit of fun. These balls are safe for your kids.

However, your small-aged kids can easily bite or chew table tennis balls which is no good. Celluloid is plastic, and it will be toxic when directly exposed to the human body inside, particularly to kids. Please pay special attention to keep the ball out of the limit of children in general and toddlers in particular.

Are Tennis Table Balls Safe For Dogs?

The answer is NO. As dogs are very active animals, they can chew or swallow anything they want, and They are no exception. Chewing or swallowing balls can cause them to choke or cause breathing problems.

As mentioned above, a large amount of celluloid will cause deathly harm to both humans and animals. So keep the ball out of the reach of the dogs.


Why Do Table Tennis Balls Burn? Chemistry Q&A – ThoughtCo

Why table tennis Balls Burn – Science Notes

In The Nutshell

We have just given you the answer to: Are ping pong balls toxic?

 If you only contact these balls through the surface of your skin, they are completely non-toxic. Still, this substance will harm your body and health if you are directly exposed to a large amount of celluloid. Please be aware not to let toddlers or dogs play with these balls as they can chew and swallow them.