The Latest Updates On Toxic Formamide In Foam Puzzle Play Mats Plus Chart of Manufacturers

May 12, 2011 | 79 Comments

OUR LATEST UPDATES FROM JUNE 27th, 2013 CAN BE FOUND HERE!

Should We Stop Worrying About EVA Foam Puzzle Mats?

UPDATES  ON MAY 5th, 2011:

As of today we have become aware of a new concern around foam mat manufacturers and this leads us to personally believe that ALL EVA FOAM MATS are not to be trusted as healthy products. We would personally not have them in our homes because there just are not enough regulations. A foam mat can be riddled with formamide and a manufacturer and retailer can hide behind the claim that their product meets all safety regulations.

The following post contains information that we have been gathering for months, the following info suggests 2 companies may have undetectable levels of formamide present, but again, as of today we personally would not use eva foam mats in our homes.  You must weigh your own concerns

The manufacturers of EDUSHAPE EDUTILES Foam Mats has requested we immediately remove their lab results from our site. We feel that this information should be easily accessible to all parents and that hiding this information is not right.

Because they want us to remove their lab results immediately, it gives us a very unsettling feeling about these mats. As a parent, how does it make you feel to know that you do not have legal access to these lab results?

LATEST UPDATES  ON FEBRUARY 10, 2011:

  • TEST RESULTS: All test results are on the bottom of this post.
  • EDUSHAPE EDUTILES: We got some additional test results in on formamide. No formamide has been detected on their mats. See results on bottom of this post.
  • TADPOLES PLAYMATS: We had an expert look at the lab results and he said that their report does not mention formamide and that they only did a SGS screening, not testing. We ask company for additional test results and if they could clarify the report for us.
  • SOFT TILES: They contacted us after they saw our posts to assure us that their foam puzzle mats are formamide free. We added them to our chart and test results can be viewed on the bottom of this post. The formamide level is at a very low level, at  10mg/kg.
  • 1 # QUESTION FROM OUR READERS: Are only NEW foam mats toxic, how about older mats? The Belgian journal did notice, that the concentration of all substances in the air did decrease dramatically over a period of 14 days. All these substances are volatile, they leave the material over time and go into the air. They are then decomposed over time in the air due to UV rays. However, there is no information about how the concentration is changing in the material itself over time.
  • BATH FOAM TOYS BY ALEX TOYS AND SASSY: We contacted Alex Toys and Sassy several times but have not heard back from them.

We’ll keep you posted about any new updates on Formamide!

Finding out the truth regarding which play foam mats are truly formamide free has been a journey!  We want the truth, LAB RESULTS, and we are not taking our babies (and your babies!) health for granted by accepting petty claims, to ultimately sell a product, as justifying truth that it is safe.

Listen people, it is so sad to say, but it is the straight up truth:  You can not trust a company’s claims that they are selling you a safe product unless they can provide you with the proven truth!  As a parent we deserve to see lab results proving any claims that a product is free from chemicals they claim are not present in the products we surround our children with.  Honesty is a quality of integrity and we suggest only supporting those companies that are trustworthy!

We have been torn over this subject for a few reasons.  First, companies have given us the weakest excuses for not proving factual truth behind their formamide free claims.  Excuses like, “This information is only given to our retailers.”  And more fishy final comments like, ” Due to proprietorship, we are unable to provide you with the lab results.”  (Find out which manufacturers are beating around the bush in our graph below).

Second, we have seen blog posts out there that state certain companies are formamide free, but they are NOT offering the lab results to prove these claims.  This is baffling because, as you will see in our detailed report below, only 3 out of 11 companies were actually able to prove their formamine free claims to us!!!!  As a concerned parent, this is disturbing.  We have the actual lab results for you today.  We have the proof that is worth trusting in.

Finally, (unfortunately but not surprising) there are NO formal government standards in the United States regarding formamide.  So, if a company tells you “our products conform or exceed current CPSC and ASTM standards,” then you can just laugh out loud and not be taken a fool by them. Our government won’t take in their hands the safety of our children, but we will.  Please share this information with all of your friend!

We’re on a mission to make Play Mats safe!! Because they can be.

Foam Puzzle Mats Banned In France

Plenty of concerned comments came in after we posted Foam Puzzle Mat Immediate Removal In France Due to Toxic Formamide and  More News On Foam Puzzle Mats And Reproductive Carcinogens.

As we already mentioned in our previous post, Europe has taken drastic action regarding Formamide: The formamide is also one of the substances known as “CMR (carcinogenic and / or mutagenic or toxic to reproduction) for the European Union, as a reproductive toxicant. The use of CMR substances in toys will be prohibited in all countries of the European Union from July 2013 under a directive came into force in summer 2009.

We contacted the main manufacturers of foam mats in the US  about Formamide and requested test results to proof that they are indeed free of formamide. Below are our findings!

Formamide Free Foam and Play Mats With Lab Results

Who is telling the truth about their formamide free play mat claims and who is stretching the truth (or just dragging their feet)?  This is the only report that is graphing the proof!

PLEASE VIEW THE FULL FORMAMIDE CHART OF MANUFACTURERS BELOW BY CLICKING ON FULL VIEW!!!

 

 

As a ‘thank you’ for getting this chart to you, please LIKE us on Facebook and tell your friends to join us too.  We appreciate your support and if we bridge our voices, awareness will expand and change will happen for the better.

Formamide Test Reports from Edutiles, Tadpoles and SoftTiles

Edutiles Test Report

Edushape asked us to immediately remove the test reports! Below is their letter:

“We are the distributor of the product and not the manufacturer; as such we did not test those mats ourselves, and are not the rightful owner of those reports- neither is your website. The manufacturer is demanding to remove those reports off your site and request your immediate compliance.

Please see this as our official request to remove your test report off your site. We do state that our foam mats comply with all ASTM, CPSIA guidelines and assure the safety of those products to your customers.” – Edushape

SoftTiles Test Report

Tadpoles  Playmats Test Results

Tags:

Category: 0-1 yr, 1-3 yrs, 3-5 yrs, 5+ yrs, Allergies, Daycare and Preschool, Indoor Air Pollution

  • celia H.

    What is the bottom line? I need to get baby mats. What is the absolute safest ones to get for my baby? Someone posted above pandamat.com. Can of safebaby.com moderators confirm that this is free from all chemicals?

  • safbaby

    We’re in the process of testing some safe alternatives, we’ll keep you updated. Make sure to fan us on Facebook, to get our latest updates!

  • http://www.papalogic.com papalogic

    The French safety agency ANSES finally published the results of their study regarding the potentials dangers of formamide in EVA foam mats.

    One of the key points they make is that while some of the mats were “up to standard” in terms of formamide levels in the mats, the key test was to measure the emissions of formamide into the air and the primary risk to small children was through inhalation. Many of the tests published are not clear whether emissions into the air were tested and measured or just content by weight.

    Safbaby makes a good point that a retailer or manufacturer saying “we’re up to standard” or “our products do not *contain* formamide” can be simply incorrect, misleading, or even dishonest.

    I summarized the findings here: http://bit.ly/p9GS01

  • Tony

    Hi.

    Have any one considered the Parklon playmats (they seem to have pvc for baby and polyethylene (PE) mats. They publish their tests online and something about FDA confirm for the PE mats.

    Any thoughts? With all this confusion,I think we’re looking at hand crafted organic quilts or organic carpet/non-toxic backing etc and not try to “figure” out all this chemical confusion with mats.

    Thanks

  • Debbie

    HI there,

    How about wondermat? Are they safe?

    Thank you.

  • Cassandra

    Hello! I was interested in getting a play mat for my 7 month old boy and was doing some research online about the safety of foam mats that are on the market. I came across your website and noticed that there may have been a misunderstanding when interpreting the test results of the play mats. I believe that this statement about Soft Tiles mats having 10 mg/kg of formamide needs to be corrected:

    “SOFT TILES: They contacted us after they saw our posts to assure us that their foam puzzle mats are formamide free. We added them to our chart and test results can be viewed on the bottom of this post. The formamide level is at a very low level, at 10mg/kg.”

    The test method used to detect formamide can only detect a level of 10.0 ppm or greater. The test results of these mats were “Not Detected”, indicating that the test could not detect anything lower than 10.0 ppm. While the test does not prove that there is no trace of formamide, I understand that there is still a concern that the mats may in fact have formamide in them that is undetectable to standard test methods. I just don’t want people to be misinformed. Please correct me if I’m wrong!

  • Rob

    We recently bought the panda mat. In terms of safety only, I would consider it similar to a thick organic comforter. It has a layer of cotton, but it’s not as thick as it should be to replace a foam mat in terms of energy absorption. For the price, I would hope that they would double the thickness or increase the density of this mat in the future.

    So bottom line, I think many parents are still waiting for a product to hit the market that is completely safe. I know some have an allergy to the protein in natural latex rubber, but I wonder why someone hasn’t yet gone this route in terms of a play mat. I imagine the baby bed core market is keeping the pricing too high?

  • Steve

    Parents: Do your own research and use additional sources, other than “watch-dogs” like this site. While I’m certain has the health and safety of children as its top priority, this article lacks perspective and clearly exaggerates any potential harm EVA play mats pose to children. Belgium and France are not, by any means, deliberate and measured in their responses to such issues; the U.S. is, as they should be. To suggest that products are inherently unsafe due to a lack of regulation is ignorant, irresponsible and frankly, silly. I came across this website while researching EVA foams and I’m shocked at the presumption here; that somehow toy manufacturers are irresponsible and do not perform due diligence on their products before placing them in the trade. By the way, the French Agency for Food Safety, Environment & Labor (ANSES) studied the issue and found that the health risks associated with formamide are strictly related to inhalation and that any off-gassing of this compound would be limited.

  • Betty

    I would just like to bring to your attention that some (all?) manufacturers say their mats are formamide free, and they submit a “lab result” to prove it. Unfortunately their lab result is based on EPA allowable limits, and if their mat has levels below what the EPA establishes as safe they put that formamide is NOT DETECTABLE in their mats. Even if it’s still there, and well above the French/Belgian allowed levels.

  • Michael Fell

    EVA FOAM MULTIPLE COLOR FLOOR MATS – exceeded EPA Standards for home use in the specific test: FORMALDEHYDE. Test completed by “Prism Analytical Technologies” Formaldehyde Report – Sample 17081-1 October 20, 2011 9:33:35 AM PDT. Test results: Positive Formaldehyde Detected and Exceeded Home Standards.

    Hi, I was diagnosed with a terminal brain disease in 2009 and have been hyper-sensitive to unprocessed or incorrectly processed products with chemicals. Until recently I had not heard of EVA Foam Mats and we were excited to find a product with great endorsements and testing insuring they would be safe for me and used in our house. This was not the case. Here is only a summary and much more could be added – but is critical for anyone to consider if they are going to purchase any EVA Foam Mats.

    I have been exposed to EVA Foam Mats twice this past year – once in our house and the second most recently in our tenants unit. Both times experiencing a severe neurological reaction that caused several severe seizures and convulsions with several weeks of healing. The last one the most severe due to we did not know where it was coming our caused by until speaking with our tenants. They informed my partner of the new EVA foam mats.

    We purchased ours from Loews who immediately no questions asked returned the product. The tenants were not so lucky as the seller, importer, distributor – http://www.getrung.com GETRUNG, LLC. of Mesa AZ refused to refund their money. I purchased the mats from the tenants as they wanted a safe comfortable flooring. In reviewing the EVA Foam Mats and the affects and effects on human neurological issues decided there must be more to the story.

    1. Statement – Getrung, LLC. claims their product is not toxic and safe. I tested the multicolor Getrung EVA Foam mats by an independent lab and found Getrung EVA Foam Mats failed in the levels of formaldehyde allowable by the EPA. Therefore, according to our results (the mats were tested after 45 days of the original installation so the “smell” had subsided but was still distinct).

    2. Statement – Getrung, LLC. claims their product has been tested and passed each test since the early 2000′s most recently 2011. After review of the test results: the company name is omitted on several of the tests, the name of product does not match any on their website: EVA FOAM TOY testing not to flooring standards but to Toy standards (TOY PUZZLE). Getrung has over four distinct EVA FOAM MATS and no “toys” are listed for sale. Test results are valid only for the name and address listed on the test results (see according to both the testing company and ASTM Standards as the name Getrung, LLC. The Owner nor the address in Mesa AZ are listed on most of the documents.

    3. Statement – Getrung, LLC. claims the product is certified by ASTM and NFPA Quality Certified and use both logos and specifically cite both organizations. FACT – neither ASTM nor NFPA have any member past or present named Getrung, LLC. or owner or address in their public records. Neither logo used by GetRung are current or authorized logos per either ASTM or NFPA terms and conditions. Further NFPA is mentioned only in one report, but does not state or conclude that the product meet or passed the NFPA standards only referring to meeting one ASTM standard in one specific test.

    4. Statement – Getrung, LLC. claims their products have passed tests. FACT: although the reports shows one product classified as a toy has passed certain tests for “Toys” for children 3 and up. No product has been tested other than the Puzzle Toy and the results do not show all parts of the even the limited tests were passed. There are several examples, but starting in 2004 – the product does not pass standards 5.6 and 7 Markings and Instructions for use and left as “—-” neither an indication of pass or fail with a notation of why a PASS was not indicated. The product failed to meet the standard of having required markings before testing and states in summery “Apart from Section 7, the submitted sample complied with the requirement.” Therefore the product did not meet the standard. There is no indication that this was retested, met or currently meets the requirement. This is just one of several examples. Each test on the website should be read by any prospective buyer to determine in their view if the product was tested under the right ASTM guidelines, the name and the product clearly identified on the testing and if the testing meets the use and age intended use of the product.

    There are in fact several tests that might be considered to meet ASTM standards. Here is an example of just one test that was not indicated as part of Getrung’s online reports:

    Special considerations need to be made for flooring in multi-purpose rooms, particularly those in child care buildings, elementary schools and long-term care facilities. ASTM International Committee F06 on Resilient Floor Coverings is currently developing a proposed new standard for such flooring. WK24836, Specification for Active Area, Multipurpose Flooring, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee F06.80 on Specifications.

    The branding, statements and endorsements presented on the packaging and website do not coincide with the facts. I would strongly encourage someone or group to submit a variety EVA Foam Mat to be tested for a complete list of possible chemicals toxic exposure including Formaldehyde.

  • Charmaine Grech

    Hi, I have just bought today a playmat from http://www.playshoes.com. It is with the letters and numbers. Can someone please tell me if they are safe cause I’m concerned…….. Need an answer immediately pls……..

  • Tara

    Hello.
    Could you please let me know what you think about Norsk color foam mat tiles (sold at Sams Club and Walmart)?
    Thanks,
    Tara

  • Amy

    FYI- The results letters from the mats shown above actually say that formamide is NOT DETECTED, and therefore <10 ppm, in your text above you state that they contain 10 ppm, which is not true.

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  • Krystal

    Soo…. basically none of the foam mats are safe? Whats a good replacement, we have a wood floor and my baby is experimenting crawling and bonking his head..help?

  • Alejandra

    I bought Imaginarium Alphabet/Number floor play mat for my baby. I never would have imagined it could present any hazard issues, since I have seen so many people place them in their homes, covering whole rooms at a time. My baby is in the learning to crawl stage, so I believe it is much better than having him crawl on the hard slippery floor.

    What do you know about the safety of this product? Is it dangerous enough to have him play on a floor or blanket instead? Then again, wouldn’t the floor be more dangerous, with all the chemicals in the cleaning products?

    Maybe everything has its pros and cons… so, what is the better alternative, even if it isn’t ideally perfect?

  • Katie

    Just wondering if the Bruin 18 piece numbers foam play mats that are sold at Toys R’ Us are formamide free? I can’t find any information regarding this.

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  • REL

    Do you have any info on eWonderWorld.com? They do provide test results but its still a little hard to tell if they are safe.

  • Kat

    Yesterday, I bought the imaginarium puzzle foam mats yesterday for my 5-month old twins. They loved them and immediately started rolling and smiling and sitting up much better. My sister used these mats for years when her teenagers were babies. I felt like I scored a baby home run, as they are just learning to sit up but still tip over regularly. Last night, I did some research and read about the Europe ban and was very concerned as I read about the reviews on the chemicals in the foam play mats. I returned them to BabiesRus today. I won’t take the risk, but the babies did love them. I’m working on coming up with an organic handcrafted solution. It seems there is no easy answer.

  • M

    The tadpoles test results are for N-Methylformamide and for N,N-Dimethylformamide. Any idea whether there was a lab test result for Formamide?

  • safbaby

    I contacted them several times but never got the lab test results for Formamide!

  • Liz

    How frustrating that it’s been over a year since this news came out and still there doesn’t seem to be a lot of additional information. It is the inhalation of fumes that’s the concern?? I read somewhere that it’s safe to assume that a second-hand or used play mat has been appropriately aired out (obviously baby shouldn’t chew on the pieces either way) and there’s a benefit of recycling… any thoughts on that? My son too is whacking his head on the hard wood floors and getting his legs tangled in any blankets we put down so I have to do something quick!

  • Lina Mai

    I am trying to compare Skip Hop and Soft Tiles playmats. The Skip Hop has 2 ug/m3 (less than 2 millionths of a gram per cubic meter) of formamide, whereas the Soft Tiles are less than 10 mg/kg (ppm). Does anyone know how to compare these measurements? Also, do these measurements assess how much formamide is emitted from the product, because I guess that the problem is inhalation of harmful emissions from the playmat when they are first removed from the packaging.

  • Viktoria

    Do you know if the MOTA play mats are safe?

  • disqus_FhogDxUXfA

    wow what a bunch of pseudoscience crap is in this article. I’ll go with the tadpoles mats. thanks. I found that this article has nothing really useful. Sometimes formamide off gasses from new foam products. You just have to leave the mats out for a while before you let you kids play on them.. Also, what do the pediatrics think? I would like to hear from them on this issue instead of someone who just thinks because france did it this is the correct answer. Its true that europe has some better regulations concerning their foam and plastic products but you can get to a point where your worring about crap that doesnt matter. maybe you should take a closer look at all the 50 million other types of plastic and foam products you use in your daily life before freaking out..

  • Krista

    Hi Safbaby,
    Do you know if Crocs have been tested for Formamide? Children are some of the biggest consumers of Crocs shoes, and the Crocs proprietary Croslite material is mostly made of EVA. I’d like to know if there are any Formamide test results available to the public, and if not, could you request it from them?
    Thank you

  • safbaby

    Hi Krista. Thanks for posting your comment. I am in contact with them and will find out.
    Best! -Sandra, Safbaby mama

  • Emma Lim

    Hi Safbaby,

    First of all, big thank you for doing this good work and helping us keep our precious babies safe. Lately I’ve been looking at mats and foam mats like Dwingler, LG Prime and Parklon seem unsurpassed. They even have testing reports up online. However they are still foam mats and are made of pvc, yet claims no phthalates and formadelhyde. Can you help me with this? Is it safe? Should I buy for my baby?

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