As a mama of three trying to live a non-toxic life, every day I feel like I find something new that my family is using that is potentially toxic, whether it be toothpaste, shampoo or dish soap, I am constantly appalled at how readily available toxic products are to my family...So when I went looking for a foam play mat I just figured that non-toxic would be the only option.
Unfortunately I was horrified to find that most mats were made with PVC or EVA which can contain Formamide (nope – I didn’t spell formaldehyde wrong…formamide is a super toxic chemical that is currently banned in Europe). Unfortunately what I found was that companies can state their mats are non-toxic even if they are not and if the product description did not state PVC or Formamide free then the mats were indeed made with PVC or Formamide (Now I was frustrated!) So I dug a little deeper.
Let’s start with PVC…
PVC contains dangerous chemical additives including phthalates, lead, cadmium, and/or organotin. PVC is lovingly referred to as "Poison Plastic" I keep hearing that the mats with PVC contain a non-toxic PVC but I'm not buying it. And most mats made with PVC are not telling you they are made with PVC – which is seriously not ok.
Then there is EVA…
Mats made of EVA can contain Formamide. Formamide is used to make the foam soft, but it's considered to be carcinogenic and a developmental toxin. You will definitely find EVA mats on the market without Formamide but without it they are unfortunately hard as a rock.
And of course XPE…
While XPE foam appears to be non-toxic, it is super thin, not even remotely soft, and honestly every mat we tested with XPE just looked flimsy and did not meet our standards.
Then we found it...
TPU foam (Thermoplastic Polyurethane). TPU is super soft and durable while also being free from all toxic elements. TPU is used in tubing, medical devices, sporting goods, cable, running shoes, wire, and other industrial products. It is the perfect replacement for PVC & EVA and get this - it is 100% non-toxic.
We tested this non-toxic foam just to be sure. Our TPU mats exceeded all US & European Toy Tests and our hopes were finally validated.
When shopping for an item that your babies will crawl, sit, and play on (and in my case smash their adorable little faces into) it is so important that you understand exactly what is in the product. Unfortunately, we live in a world where non-toxic products sit on every shelf ready to buy with little to no regulation.
The surfaces that are children play on should be soft, easy to clean, durable...and most importantly, above all, non-toxic.
Our promise is simple…we provide a safe place for little ones to wander & roam.