Home » Plastic cricket balls for children withdrawn over high chemical level fears

Plastic cricket balls for children withdrawn over high chemical level fears

Plastic cricket balls for children withdrawn over high chemical level fears

Cricket clubs have been told to discard a particular set of plastic balls used by children due to fears over their chemical composition.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said the balls that were given to participants of its All Stars and Dynamos youth engagement programmes for free were found to contain a level of phthalates – a widely used chemical group that increases durability of plastics – beyond approved levels.

The ECB said its Dynamos Cricket batting tee and the National Programmes PVC banners included in the programmes also had high phthalate levels and should no longer be used.

The programmes, which have been running since 2017, are used by more than 2,200 clubs according to the ECB, and are aimed at children between the ages of five and 11.

“The independent testing we conducted has found that the phthalates in these items were found to be at levels in excess of those permitted by relevant regulations,” an ECB message sent to participants in the scheme said.

“To better understand the issue, we then instructed an external expert company to conduct a risk assessment in relation to the cricket balls which has not identified any direct risk to participants in the programmes in relation to these balls.

“However, the safety of participants, volunteers and staff is our priority and, out of an abundance of caution, we would advise that the balls should no longer be used.

“We are very sorry that the affected products haven’t met the standards we’d expect, and for any concern this may cause.”

Read more:
Billie Piper admits ‘enormous difficulty’ of co-parenting with Laurence Fox
M25 closure: This is the eye-popping diversion route

Trading Standards and the Office for Product Safety and Standards have both been informed and, although neither body has advised the items be recalled from circulation, the ECB has written to its partner clubs advising they be discarded.

Further testing is being conducted on a practice batting tee and PVC banners used in the schemes, but the hard plastic bats and stumps have both been approved.

The ECB said it intends to send out new phthalate-free balls from a different supplier to all clubs later this year, but said “the timelines are still to be confirmed” as they look for a supplier.

It recommended clubs temporarily use tennis balls while they wait to be sent new soft cricket balls.