More News On Foam Puzzle Mats And Reproductive Carcinogens


Quite a few of our readers commented on our recent post titled Foam Puzzle Mat Immedate Removal In France Due to Toxic Formamide.  (By the way, for all of you that did comment, thank you.  We love hearing from you and are always interested in your thoughts and concerns.)

Not only have we received post comments, but one reader sent us an email with additional feedback that we would like to share today.  We will continue to add on to this post as we receive LAB RESULTS from companies that respond to our concerns regarding toxic formamide hiding in our children’s foam puzzle mats.

We have emailed One Step Ahead and Skip Hop requesting that they provide us with their tests results proving that their mats are safe for our kids.  If you have any other feedback/lab results that you would like to share with us, please do and we will keep this post updated as needed.

Parents Are Concerned About Toxic Puzzle Mats

Our initial post on this subject stated that ALL Foam Puzzle Mats have been removed from shelves in Belgium and France this holiday season due to high amounts of Formamide.  Formamide threatens our children’s reproductive health, so knowing which companies are formamide-free is crucial if you’re planning on using puzzle mats in your home.

We have emailed both Skip Hop and One Step Ahead requesting they provide us with their lab results proving their claims to be free of formamide.  We have yet to receive those results, although one reader did receive this email response back from One Step Ahead.  (Please keep in mind that this email reply does not provide the lab results we are still awaiting for.) Edushape is the only company that email us their test results. We’re still waiting for a response from ToysRus regarding their IMAGINARIUM foam puzzle and Alex Toys.

Edutiles Mats from Edushape

Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding our Edu Tile floor mats, our mats do not contain carcinogens, including Formamide, Acetaphenone, 2 Phenyl 2 Propanol.  At Edushape, we pay a close attention to quality and frequently test our products to make sure they meet or exceed ASTM guidelines.  Please see enclosed ASTM as well as fumigation test reports that have been conduct overseas.   The on-going recall for foam mats in Europe is not related to our products. Rest assure that our foam tiles are safe, soft and durable. According to tests done last year, there was no Formamide detected in our foam tiles.

Please note that the manufacturers of Edushape instructed us to immediately remove test results from our site:

“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

Please see details on our latest post:

One Step Ahead Regarding Formamide

From a SAFbaby reader: Safbaby,  Just wanted to forward this to you…maybe help you out a bit.  This is the company that I was considering purchasing a foam mat from, so I emailed them regarding the formamide.  There reply is below.  Hope this might make your job just a little bit easier.  Thanks, M.B.

And her email correspondence with One Step Ahead: Does your foam playmat contain formamide?  Has your company done any testing to see what formamide levels might be  since this can also be a byproduct of manufacturing EVA foam??  Thanks, M.B.

One Step Ahead: December 17, 2010  Dear Valued Customer,  Thank you for your interest in One Step Ahead.  I am the Quality Control Manager at One Step Ahead.  It has been brought to my attention that you have concerns about the safety of our Puzzle Mat Collection.

Let me begin by assuring you that all One Step Ahead products are rigorously tested, and meet or exceed all United States safety requirements.  Because of the concerns regarding the use of EVA foam in children’s products, we had our mats tested for the chemicals that are under investigation in Europe.  The testing results are as follows:

Formamide—not detected
Acetophenone—not detected
2-Phenyl  2-propanol—not detected

At One Step Ahead, we stand behind the quality and safety of our products 100%.  I sincerely hope this information will put your concerns to rest, and we look forward to serving you in the future.

Best regards,  Quality Control Manager

Skip Hop Regarding Formamide

And our personal email correspondence to Skip Hop looks like this so far…

SAFbaby: Are  your foam mats Formamide free?

Skip Hop: 12/16/10,  Thank you for your interest in Skip Hop!   All Skip Hop products, including the Playspot, meet or exceed regulatory safety standards in the USA and Europe, without exception.  We do not add Formamide to Playspot, although it can be a byproduct of the EVA foam manufacturing process (which includes such items as flip flops and many bath toys).   That said, due to these concerns, we have tested Playspot using ISO 16000 methods.

We are pleased that our Playspots received the lowest possible score,<2ug/m3 (less than 2 millionths of a gram per cubic meter) for Formamide emissions, the lowest measurable result with this testing method.  These tests show that – within the limits of the test – its presence is essentially not detectable.   Therefore, the Playspot is a safe EVA floor mat option for children and you should feel confident that we have specifically tested for this issue.

Feel free to contact us with further questions.  Best, Skip Hop Team

SAFbaby: Could we please see your test results for our readers. Thank you.

Skip Hop: 12/17/10, This s information that we gladly supply to Skip Hop retailers.  Thank you,  Customer Service

SAFbaby: We’d like to add test results documentation to our post: Thanks.

Stay tuned for any follow-ups we may receive.  We will alert our Facebook fans when we update this post.  Become a fan today and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Comments (33)

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  1. LBanack says:

    My daughter received 2 sets of Little Scholastic’s Play n Learn Alphabet Puzzle Mats for Christmas. I emailed the toy manufacturer that was printed on the package, Kids Station Toys, but have yet to receive a reply. Do you have any information on this product?

  2. I was previously unaware about Formamide and EVA! Thank you for sharing, I will pass along to my readers to keep them on the look out too! Keep up the fabulous work. You are an inspiration to me and my team.

  3. Julie says:

    I just contacted Edushape, who make Edutiles, and they responded to me:

    Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding our Edu Tile floor mats, our mats do not contain carcinogens, including Formamide, Acetaphenone, 2 Phenyl 2 Propanol. At Edushape, we pay a close attention to quality and frequently test our products to make sure they meet or exceed ASTM guidelines. Please see enclosed ASTM as well as fumigation test reports that have been conduct overseas. The on-going recall for foam mats in Europe is not related to our products. Rest assure that our foam tiles are safe, soft and durable.

    They also included their test reports as an attachment.

  4. Virginie says:

    I bought in August a Alphabet foam puzzle from IMAGINARIUM (a toy R us brand). I am still writing to customer services to find out if there are formamides in thos foam puzzle but no answer. Do you know if those puzzle foam have this chemical? can you please help me investigate?
    Thank you

    • safbaby says:

      I have contacted Toys “R” US regarding the IMAGINARIUM foam puzzle and I am waiting for their reply.

  5. Jessie says:

    I am concerned about a mat I bought from Babies’R’Us in October, I believe it is made by Verdes Toy Corp. Do you know if this alphabet/number mat has this chemical in it? Can you help me find out?
    Thank you!

  6. Michael says:

    I have contacted Wondermat an awaiting a reply.

  7. Jennifer says:

    What about the foma mats from
    I want to cover my playroom floor with foam mats (approx. 240 sq. ft) – any recommendation as to which product I should use?

    • safbaby says:

      We’re still in the process of finding the safest alternatives. To get the latest updates, please sign up with our FB page or Newsletter.

  8. Lisa M says:

    I have called the customer service line for Venture products. Their mats are carried at The Right Start and Costco. I was told that over the past couple of weeks, they have been testing their products for formamide and they have no results. I asked for clarification and said, “so my mat could have this chemical in it,” and the representative said, “yes.” She said that they will post online when they have any results but due to this response, my mat is packed up and ready to be removed from my house for storage.

  9. Sue says:

    I have a foam mat from Tadpoles that I recently bought from Babies R Us. Does my mat have any unsafe chemicals?

  10. Heather Wylie says:

    What I am worried about is the fire retardants in these mats. They typcially are organic molecules that are halogenated with bromide and or cholorine–these types of compounds are known to have carcingenic properties. Do you know of any puzzel mats that garentee they do not contain any fire retardants?

  11. safbaby says:

    Thanks Heather for reminding us about the toxic fire retardants. We’ll look into what types of fire retardants these manufacturer use as well.

  12. claims that their mats are formamide-free on their home page Any clue on those?

    • safbaby says:

      See our new chart and updates:
      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.

  13. Concerned says:

    I’m freaking out my son was just chewing on part of his puzzle mat when I decided to google if their was a reason he shouldn’t and found your site. I dont know who made it since I threw out the packaging and bought it at ross and no one at ross will walk over to the toy section and find out the name for me. He’s played on it 10 times max and chewed on a piece for maybe 5 minutes, I threw it out! What kind of damage could be caused from that?

    • safbaby says:

      The foam mats outgass most when they are new. I wouldn’t worry, since he chewed on it only one time.

  14. Mat Manufacturer says:

    There’s a company who can do 100% free formamide mat, because even the world’s most precise testing machine can’t even find any formamide who is talking business with a nationwide Canadian store. would let everyone know here, and feel free to call CPSC and/or CCPSA after they are avaliable, NOT the existing brand on there

  15. Mat Manufacturer says:

    To Concerned;

    It’s really NOT a good idea to chew on mats like these especially if whoever sells these products can prove these mats are formamide free from “mass production”. Always remember a preproduction test report means nothing.

    Because manufacturer can always manipulite the formula on the chemical compound.

    I would suggest you to report the product you bought on

    Actually, all the listed companies are that confident about their formamide content they should also be confident to receive phone calls from CPSC or a store visit from CPSC.

  16. Mat Manufacturer says:

    To Jen @

    For softfiles. they state “call them” for more detail, I wouldn’t give that saying a credit.

    I would suggest you to ask them to to call CPSC to check them out from each of their shipment “randomly”.

    The only company you can trust on this issue is whoever is willing to pay CPSC to randomly check out their products “randomly” instead of telling everyone to call them and talk “privately”. that’s the only way to prove their products anywhere they are selling is “CONSISTENT” quality in terms of formamide. and all other regulated high concerned substances.

  17. concerned mom says:

    Mat Manufacturer or anyone that can help,
    Do you know where I can buy a safe mat in Canada? Thanks

    • safbaby says:

      At this time we do not recommend any foam mat ANYWHERE! There are no safe alternatives!

  18. 1st time mom says:

    Thanks you safbaby for all the updates on this. As a first time mom, I would be even more lost without you guys!

    Have you heard of Dwinguler playmats?

    Are these safe? They say Korean made and claim that they are safe……

    • safbaby says:

      Thank you so much Christina for letting us know how much you like our site!!! We’re always happy to receive any kind of feedback! About the Dwinguler playmat, thanks for telling us about this mat. I am in contact with the distributor to find out what the mat is made of and see if it is a safer alternative. If it is, we’ll keep everybody posted, don’t forget to join our Facebook page to receive latest update at

      All my best,
      Sandra, SAFbaby mama

  19. Beverly says:

    Thank you so much for keeping this information current and available. I was wondering if tumble mats (like gymnastics mats) would be safe for my little ones to play on? I have no intention of buying a foam mat, but I am looking for something soft for my babies to wiggle and crawl around on. Thanks!

    • safbaby says:

      Dear Beverly

      I think they’re made of PVC but am not sure, what brand are you interested in?

  20. Guy says:

    Has anyone tried bebemat – they claim to be PVC based and formamide free – do you know if that is true?

  21. angelstardusty says:

    What do you think about this product by One Step Ahead? What is “natural” foam? :)

  22. […] Update December 30, 2010: More News On Foam Puzzle Mats And Reproductive Carcinogens […]

  23. Katie says:

    Is it ok to use a foam play mat if I put a blanket on it? That way baby is getting the extra cushioning but is not directly touching the mat. Please advise if this is a safe alternative. Thank you!

  24. Deenar says:

    Please let me know if you ever got a reply from Toys R Us / Imaginarium. I just recieved these as a gift, and when I read the reviews, I ended up doing a google search and landed on your website. Please let me know if you have any more information on Imaginarium.

    I would apprecaite a reply to my email.

    Thank you.

  25. Anne says:

    Hello – has anyone heard of results for the ludi brand foam mats? Bought them before Christmas and my 10 month old has been on them every day since. Slightly freaked now after looking at your (great) site. Thanks