I really want these colorful alphabet play mats. Last time I saw packs of these at Costco run for about $40.00 a box.
Then I am just curious for its safety so did a little research on it.
Found out that in February 2011 Australia put a probe on EVA foam play mats soon after Belgium pulled out this product in late 2010 followed by France (source – news.com.au). Apparently these made-in-China foam contains:
Briefly about it: Ammonia is a strong, colorless gas. If the gas is dissolved in water, it is called liquid ammonia. Poisoning may occur if you breathe in ammonia. Poisoning may also occur if you swallow or touch products that contain very large amounts of ammonia. Ammonia gas can decompose at high temperatures forming very flammable hydrogen and toxic nitrogen dioxide. (source)
Highly corrosive on contact with skin or eyes and may be deadly if ingested. Inhalation of large amounts of formamide vapor may require medical attention.It is also a teratogen. Formamide should never be handled without proper safety attire including gloves and goggles. There is a small risk of decompostion into hydrogen cyanide and water. (source)
Each of these could be inhaled or ingested especially for baby who loves to put everything into their mouth, especially their hands (and those little hands touch everything), health risks include:
– eye and skin irritation
– reproduction problems
– fetal development problems
– potential cancer risks
After discovering such a hazardous component made up that baby mats I decided to look for something else.
My main area is tile so it’s too hard for my baby who’s not an expert walker yet and being in winter season here down under is pretty cold.
Luckily the other day when I went to Costco here they carry an eco friendly kid’s play mat called Dwinguler. I’ve been trying to look into its further safety but so far has not heard any concern. The Dwinguler matt is made in Korea and apparently almost 80% of Korean household that has children has this. This is a picture of the material used in this foam (Acryl, Urethane, Resin Foam):