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Do Not Use Tennis Balls As Furniture Sliders

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Noise reduction is essential to a conducive learning environment, but also a time consuming and often expensive process when done without the proper tools and instruction. Tennis balls have been turned to for a simple, quick, and seemingly cheap solution.

What teachers and staff alike do not recognize when cutting into the tennis balls, is that they are releasing a dangerous latex toxin into the environment, and in some cases nitrogen gas. Tennis balls have a hollow core, which in certain brands is filled with nitrogen gas in the center. Nitrogen gas will be released when punctured to allow the tennis ball to be retrofitted to school chairs and desks, and thus exposing staff and students to the gas.  

Also when cut, tennis balls can harbor and disperse mold spores and other allergens polluting indoor air quality. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health labels tennis balls as a source of indoor air pollutants in their August 2006 report “Indoor Air Quality Testing – Pediatric Asthma Surveillance in Massachusetts Public Schools”.

Anonymously, this teacher has illustrated her personal frustrations with tennis balls in the classroom:

“1. Filth falls off tennis balls each night onto desks when students put up the chairs. A mix of glue, condensation from water bottles, pencils, markers with the grime and you get some pretty disgusting desk tops. It’s hard to get 3rd graders to dust off the dirt before they sit at their desks. I even provide mini brooms and dustpans to help them, but that doesn’t get the dirt completely off.

2. Students who lean their chairs back fall over quite often.

3. Balls fall off and roll around the classroom, creating a danger.

4. Students are tempted to throw them when they are rolling around the room after coming off.

5. Allergens must be abound in the dust that gathers on the tennis balls.

I’ve never had to use so many tissues as I’ve had to use in the past year, now that the balls are two years old.”

The solution to this problem is both simple and cost effective. Floor savers will last longer, require no cutting in the application process, are custom to fit your chars and desks, and do not release any dangerous toxins that pollute air quality and the environment. A pack of four tennis balls costs approximately $5.99, while a pack four floor savers costs approximately $2.64. Very rarely is the least expensive choice the right choice, but in this case it is also the healthiest.