Yoga mats that are available in the market are made from different materials and one of them is ethylene vinyl acetate (or EVA). Why should we pay attention to EVA? Because according to a research report released by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), foam puzzle mats made from EVA were found to contain “formamide” and ANSES suggested that the level of formamide emission be subject to limitation.
What exactly is “formamide”? According to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), it is classified as a toxic for reproduction category 1B. Animal studies showed that prolonged exposure to formamide could cause harm on their haematopoietic and reproductive systems. A number of researches further indicated that formamide can cause embryotic and teratogenic effects on various species and via different ways of exposure. Think of those yoga poses that require touching your face with the yoga mat while taking a deep breath. If the mat were to release harmful substances, you would then be inhaling all the “toxic chemicals”.
Of the 30 models tested, different quantities of formamide were detected in 28 of them, but the level detected in 9 models even exceeded the EU’s Toy Safety Directive’s cut-off limit of 200mg/kg! These 9 models were put to further emission tests to check whether the quantity of formamide emission would exceed 20μg/m3 over a 28-day period. Fortunately, all models were in compliance with the EU’s Toy Safety Directive for the emission test.
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