Are EVA Foam Mats Safe?

Many parents buy EVA foam mats for their children’s play area because they are soft, durable and baby-foam matsafe…or so we thought. What most of us do not know is that:

Formamide is usually tested to ONLY a certain level (10mg/kg) and if it passes that level, then test results say ‘PASS’ which translates to ‘formamide free’. At this time, there is NO 100% formamide FREE EVA foam puzzle mat. The government doesn’t regulate Formamide in the US. 

So what we are saying is that formamide is in those EVA foam mats and formamide is known as a CMR (carcinogenic and / or mutagenic or toxic to reproduction) according to the European Union. As of July 2013, formamide has been prohibited in all baby products in the EU but in the US the laws still allow for it.

In its purest form, formamide is a colorless liquid and has a slight ammonia odor. In this form, its toxicity is proven. It can be absorbed into the body by inhaling its fumes, through the skin, and by ingesting. It is an eye and skin irritant under short exposure and it can affect the central nervous system. While US tests have established a link between formamide and certain cancers, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has not yet evaluated the carcinogenicity of formamide.

EVA has commonly been used as an alternative to PVC which has been proven to be unsafe so unfortunately EVA is found in many other household and baby products (some rubber flip flops, Crocs, padding in sporting equipment, bibs etc…)

How many kids have put those EVA foam mats in their mouth because they are soft and tempting to chew on during the teething and oral fixation phase.

In conclusion, it is best to find an alternative to EVA such as natural latex mats or a cotton or wool rug without a rubber backing. As cute and fun as they look and as functional as they are, EVA foam mats are just not worth it until further testing has been conducted in the US.