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

About the Author (Author Profile)

  • Becky

    What about Soft Tiles?

  • Conrad Morgan

    Do you know where we might be able to get a list of UK-based companies? I’m particularly interested in those supplied by Easimat. Thanks.

  • cris

    So, if i have edushape puzzle mat is it safe to keep it?

  • safbaby

    I don’t know how old your mat is and if they were always free of Formamide. If it’s new, then I would say ‘YES’, if it’s old, then please call or email the company to find out.

  • safbaby

    Some of these mats are sold all over Europe but I do not know of only UK-based companies who sell foam puzzle mats.

  • cris

    I bought my puzzle mat in January 2011 because I didn’t know about the problems with Formamide. It is a date stamped on the back of my puzzle mat and this is January 2010. I think it’s execution date. I already write to the company Edushape, but I haven’t received any answer yet. Thank you.

  • Pingback: UPDATE: Foam mats banned in Europe, why not here? | papalogic()

  • http://www.papalogic.com papalogic

    @saftbaby – thanks for doing a great job chasing all these people down for answers and not letting it blow over!

    @Conrad – not sure about UK companies, but the Belgian government keeps a list of approved / non-approved products for their market. There may be some overlap with the UK. You can find the list and translation here: http://bit.ly/ejXNex

    papalogic.

  • Caralien

    I ordered the Alessco world map puzzle before finding out about this site and checked with the company; published lab results on their site:
    http://www.dealers.alessco.com/?cat=dealerinformation

    I double checked before opening the package, as I had been alerted to formamide in foam products, and thought I should share this. I was RELIEVED to find out that I wouldn’t have to send it back because it might be toxic (I spent 2 days looking up the best mats, and initially planned to get the world map and One Step Ahead; now I’m planning to get EduShapes/EduTiles due to the formamide issue)

  • http://www.softtiles.com Morris

    Re: SoftTiles
    We have had our mats tested in January and are formamide free. I have emailed a copy of the testing results to safbaby.com.

  • Michelle

    What would the cost be to have foam floor mats tested? Any suggested labs? I’d love to know before I throw away my roomful of One Step foam floor mats.

  • Ines

    It is great to see the reports.
    I have read the news but the test report from Todpoles isn’t Formamide(CAS no. 75-12-7) as the news shown.
    Also the test report for Edutiles, it isn’t as complete as Todpoles’ with test lab name and report no. or date tested?

  • http://kellyevans.com/green Kelly

    Do you know does this apply to all EduShape Tiles? They have several non edutile lines. Thanks, Kelly

  • twinmommy

    What about Great Mats? They say that their product is formamide free.

  • safbaby

    Yes, all the Edutiles. for any other products, you need to contact EduShape directly.

  • Adriana

    Do you know if Step 2 tiles are formamide free? Thanks!

  • Natasha

    Thank you for the information. It’s terrible that
    companies are not required to say what is in
    their products.

  • MeL M.

    I called & emailed Toy’s R Us re: the use of formamide in their Imaginarium foam mats. That was about a month ago and despite attempting to call & email several more times in hopes of a definitive answer, I have not received no such response….hmmm…!!!!

  • Momofthree

    I have contacted babies r us in regard to Imaginarium, which is not even made by imaginarium, they contract out to several different companies, at which they couldn’t even tell me the names of those subsequent companies. Ultimately, the company that made it told me they do have a small amount of formamide in them, shame on babies r us.

  • Alex Hernandez

    Can anyone provide any insight to “EVA” foam by WeSellMats? Here’s a link to the product
    http://www.amazon.com/We-Sell-Mats-Alphabet-Number/dp/B0012YMWO0/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
    I can’t seem to find contact info or get a response in the reviews.
    Thank you Safbaby~~~!!!!

  • Joyce Brewer

    I just received a response from Toys “R” Us and was told the Imaginarium mat DOES NOT contain formamide. Here is my updated blog post & product review: http://bit.ly/e0PQfm

  • Jessica Kurt

    Hello. Regarding WE SELL MATS (on Amazon): This is the same company as KENMISSYR (on E-bay). I called to verify this. I wrote to them on e-bay asking if they were formamide free. I got a one word respone, “Yes”. I had already ordered alphabet mats from them on e-bay and decided to do more digging. I have been unable to find any info on this company so I asked them again.

    This time I wrote on 3/17/11, “Hello. When was the last time your mats were tested for Formamide, 2 Phenyl-Propanol or Acetophenone, and what was the detected levels? Thanks”!

    They responded promptly with “Hello, Thank you for your question and interest in our WeSellMats brand EVA foam flooring. WeSEllMats EVA foam flooring is safe non-toxic. Our mats have been tested by an independent toy testing laboratory and Passed all tests. Please call 704-929-8945 to discuss.Thank you”.

    There is no formamide regulations so regardless of the amount they contain, they would “pass”. So I called to verify on 3/18/11:

    ME: Hi do your mats contain formamide?
    THEM: No, our mats are tested by an independant company called insight labs and they are non-toxic. We do not ad formamide.
    ME: Even if you dont ad formamide they may contain it because it is a by-product of EVA foam. What were the detectable levels of formamide in the last test.
    THEM: The reports of formamide are so new, that we havent tested them for that exact thing. We are having our mats analyzed now.
    ME: When should I call back to find out the results?
    THEM:I think they’ll be sent to the labratory next week. So maybe call back in 2 weeks and we should know by then.

    Conclusion: Sounds fishy. This company either doesn’t know the amount of formamide in their mats or they haven’t been tested yet. I’m tossing my alphabet mat and ordering from SoftTiles.

    Thank you SafBaby for this site!!!

  • safbaby

    Thank you Jessica for doing all the research on WE SELL MATS. Agree with you, looks like they never tested for it.

  • Mat Manufacturer

    Children’s Puzzle Mat Manufacturer,

    Dear all,

    We are the manufacturer for making these children’s puzzle mats for 30 decades, feel free to ask me any questions you may have.

    Being in this industrial long enough we are professional enough to share this with you all. The one seller you can trust is not just showing test reports, due to anyone can always submit one thing for test and something else for mass production.

    You can trust the store you buy if they “proactively” call CPSC to their store to pick up “randomly” for “CPSC” in house testing.

  • Mat Manufacturer

    BTW, Can Toys R Us call CPSC to randomly check it’s children’s puzzle mat OR just simply upload a youtube video from a third party stating their children’s puzzle mats don’t have formamide, but no any action can really prove it?!

  • Stephanie

    I contacted Home Decor Inc., manufacturer of “Connect-A-Mat” sold at Walmart. I received a response confirming that they have tested for and detected no Formamide. They attached a copy of their lab results.

    “Thank you for your inquiry; Home Decor Inc. uses an independent third party to test all of Home Decor Inc’s products for substances including formamide, lead and many others. The standards we set for our products currently meet or exceed those set by Health Canada and applicable provincial laws. For your reference, we have attached a detailed study, conducted by a third party, that shows our products don’t contain formamide.

    We appreciate your email, and rest assured that you can buy our products without concern about formamide or other harmful chemicals.

    Best Regards,

    Anand Bhalla, MBA | Home Decor Inc.
    Phone: 905 670 4663 Ext. 233 | Cell: 647 863 6327
    Fax: 905 670 2068 | abhalla@homedecorinc.net

    The test attached was for white tiles only, and only showed the result for Formamide.

  • Stephanie

    I contacted Home Decor Inc. again to confirm the test results are the same for all colours of mats and got a quick response.

    “Yes, the results are the same. The basic composition of EVA remains the same regardless of the color of the mat. Therefore, color is not a factor in determining the content of formamide in EVA foam mats.

    We test our mats on a very frequent basis as it is part our company’s policy as well as the compliance standards set by the department stores we supply.”

  • Cathy

    Any new news from Tadpoles?

  • brigitte

    Call me crazy, but I do not trust lab results commissioned by the manufacturers, especially tests conducted by chinese testing labs. Are there any independent lab results and/or results done in US or European laboratories?

    @Michelle asked, and i second, what would the cost of having foam floor mats tested? Any suggested labs?

    @Morris- if you are with the SoftTiles company, why not have your product tested by an american laboratory?

    @Mat Manufacturer- it is funny you say “”You can trust the store you buy if they “proactively” call CPSC for “CPSC” in house testing.”” If the government does not have standards for formamide, then what good is it that they do random tests?

  • Mat Manufacturer

    To Brigitte,

    Thanks for saying that I am funny, but I am funny in a very professional and technical way. Actually, there is an “ enforceable standard” for LIMITS FOR AIR CONTAMINANTS regulated by US department of labor occupational safety and health administration.
    They specifically pointed out “by law” about how much ammoniac emission the products can have in the work environment http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9992&p_text_version=FALSE

    Anyone is more than welcome to bring out more professional questions, we would be more than happy to assist on this. I will update more about how those EU countries are going regulate this high concern subsance as well as how CPSC should refer to those high EU product QC standard especially when it comes to safety for kids products. remember may all come different different countries, but consumer market world is “FLAT” and why are we talking about product safety issues here when concerns came from Belgium and France?

  • safbaby

    No reply from Tadpoles, still waiting!

  • Krystal

    Any word from We Sell Mats since the previous “call back in 2 weeks” comment? (it’s been almost a month)

    I have a very large collection of these mats and I REALLY can’t afford to toss them and buy new if they are safe.

  • Mat Manufacturer

    To Safbaby,

    We should leave more comments on anywhere Tadpoles is selling their mats as consumers see what they response, they have products selling at Target.com Sears.com and Kmart.com and Walmart.com

    formamide or formide free Tadpoles mats?

  • Mat Manufacturer

    This is Tadpoles

    anyone is welcome to leave comments/suggestions on their products.

  • Christine

    Have you done any research on Wondermat (www.wondermat.com)?

  • safbaby

    RE: Wondermat

    We contacted Wondermat several times but have not heard back from them.

  • Mat Manufacturer

    To Safbaby,

    Have you ever seen any children’s puzzle mats with the most positive result 2 N.D?

  • Mat Manufacturer

    The test report Edushape provided is from us, and I can’t believe they took out our name on it.

    The test report was reliable and can be trusted, the thing is these retail buyers are taking a chance to sell excessive formamide children’s puzzle mat in north american market due to there’s no legal requirement with a limitation like the EU countries, look up toy directive http://www.google.com/#hl=en&biw=1004&bih=524&q=Directive+2009%2F48%2FEC+&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=a3a4c3d8141baa6d

    Let’s Hope CPSIA can add these high concern substances into the testing requirement ASAP in order to protect American kids.

  • Mat Manufacturer

    In addition, you are right safbaby. Because there’s no legal requirement, therefore all the sellers on this products are taking chance to sell an excessive formamide ( stinky ammonia smell) children’s puzzle mats. in the US and Canada and sacrificing all of our health when we are around these type of mats with excessive formamide.

    We as a manufacturer making this product and capable to provide formamide free mats, and of course the price is higher but since there’s no legal requirement so in the US the buyers doesn’t really care at this moment.

    Try to pull products from Tadpoles, Venture Products and all others, all of their products formamide content MUST over 500 or more.

  • http://SaferChoicesBlog.com Jen

    I agree! Companies need to share their results or else why believe them?

    I’ve been working on finding out about formamides in shoes like Crocs and other similar styles/brands. Crocs will not share test results (makes you wonder) and the CSR from iPlay has not heard back on if testing has been done on their version. For now, we are going to be staying away from EVA foam products – play mats, fun foam craft foam, Crocs, bath letters and number, etc. Not worth the chance when there are other safer alternatives!

    Jen
    SaferChoicesBlog.com

  • Pam

    I bought EVA foam mats a year ago to protect my baby from our hard laminate floors when he plays. They were advertised as non-toxic. I was so upset to find out they could be toxic after all! I am tossing them out!

    So I am wondering, what safe alternatives are there? I’ve read that carpet can contain VOCs…and now these foam mats are not good either… I really need something in our playroom to protect my active 1-year-old son from bumps/bruises as he plays. I would love to buy a non-toxic wool carpet, but that is way out of my price range right now…

    Any suggestions?

  • Cathy

    Dear Safbaby. Just came across your site and am really surprised at the foam mat findings, particularly as I was just about to purchase one for my LO!

    The test results from Skip Hop however do need to be questioned. They are in units of ug/m3. This is a volume measurement (usually used in air testing e.g. for particulates / vapours in air). Skip Hop need to clarify what exactly they have tested as I certainly dont believe them on this information alone!

  • Edward Chang

    As I know all the chemical blown EVA foams are with potentialty of chemical residues including not only fomamide, formaldehyde, ammonia but also others. Only physical blown foam can achieve no odor and no toxic subastance.

  • M Goh

    Thank you so much for posting this. I was thinking of purchasing a foam mat for my 6-month old. My thought was she was going to be crawling soon and want her to have a “safe” place for her to crawl around. I guess she will be safer not crawling on top of the foam mat

  • HC

    Thanks for this post. However, we have these mats from Lowe’s: http://www.lowes.com/pd_161775-47189-PC03016_0__?productId=3090127&Ntt=mats&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dmats&facetInfo= that clearly state non-toxic, odor-free on the packaging, but not sure if they’re tested and to what extent. The distributer is LG Sourcing, Inc., which is a Lowe’s company. It has a few excellent reviews from customers, but how did/would it test? If you guys are able to help incorporate test results from these mats, it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for this great site!

  • safbaby

    At this time we do not recommend ANY eva foams. Because of the lack of regulations any company can state ‘non-toxic’ ‘odor-free’ etc., doesn’t mean it’s safe.

  • stephane

    I am working as a quality manager in toys industry, and it is important to make things clearer:
    there is no test for formamide as ther is no official rate so far. France is working on that and should publish something in July. the only thing a laboratory can say is if there is formamide in the mat but no nothing more.
    It is not the playmat itself but the material which may be toxic. EVA is concerned and can be found in many things around you, floors,toys, shoes…
    We were the distributor for Alex toys many years and I m really aware of the efforts they re making to be in compliance with any regulation. I had a reply about that matter from their quality dpt and they only answered they could not test it as there was no specific test. I have no doubt that they will do what is necessary when sthg official is published. I can tell that they were one of the most serious supplier we had.
    Do not hesitate to contact me for any question you may have.
    Stéphane

  • stephane coundouris

    there is no process and no official rate for formamide France is working on a new decree for July. No test will be relevant until this rate is determined.
    Alex toy is aware of the worldwide regulation; we were their distributor in France and I can tell you they ll do what is necessary to be in compliance with the new regulation as soon as it comes out.
    formamide can be found in many different products; floor for example as the material (EVA) and not the toy itself is to be considered.

    I m in charge of quality in toy industry , and hope it will help you to see clearer

  • http://www.getrung.com Get Rung Flooring

    We wanted to offer our information to this forum as this issue is a growing concern in the global community. First off we take safety very seriously at Get Rung. We have had our products tested for lead, latex, general safety, flame and smoke spread and more with UL, ASTM, EN, and NFPA standards. These new chemicals are concerns as well regardless of US standards being in place or not. And there are more than just formamide, but phthalates too. Many labs have not had the capability to test for these newer chemicals but we are in process of having our products tested for them, now that we have found an appropriate, accredited facility that can properly test for the substances.

    In the past we have relied on composition reports that breakdown the makeup of ingredients…much like food labels, but with newer issues, we too are not just satisfied that because it is not listed as a component it is not there…we want a test for the specific substance in case it is a byproduct of the process.

    We have been assured by our factory that our products are safe from these chemicals, but that is not enough. We do not have a date for the results from the testing that will begin soon, but the day we have them in hand we will be posting them here and on other forums. We have always been on the forefront of disclosure with all aspects of our products…and this is no time to stop.

  • Judy Taylor

    The only true safe and play mat I have been able to find is the Panda Mat. I know it is safe as is made with organic cotton, no fire retardants, and they posted their laboratory results on their website. It is large, beautiful design and soft. What a great alternative to those toxic foam mats. Even if they are formamide free, what else is in their they are not telling you about. http://www.pandamat.com Make to check out the results in the blog section of the web. http://www.pandamat.com/blog

  • 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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