Most synthetic made mats have vinyl or PVC. These materials are toxic and studies show they also cause damage to the respiratory system, central nervous system, the reproductive system and the liver. Vinyl gives off gasses that can penetrate into the water in your bath tub. This will compromise your health and your entire household.
At first, you will think plastic bath mats smell nice when you first open it. It has this “plastic” smell that some think is normal for newly bought mats. However, what you truly smell are off-gasses of chemicals that are deemed toxic.
You can prevent these toxic chemicals from polluting your indoor air by buying non toxic products. There are non-toxic bath mats and shower curtains available in the market including 100% natural rubber mats. These are made with non-vinyl, non-phthalate and non-chlorine materials. Although rubber will leave off a smell, you are sure it is not toxic. You can also easily clean it because it is machine washable.
Another option is to buy Thermo Plastic Elastomer (TPE) bathroom mats. This is a type of material used to make plastic mats that are safe as they do not leach toxins. TPE mats also better than vinyl mats but natural ones are still the best choice.
When you are shopping for bath mats and curtains, you can start by reading labels. Look for the ones that are PVC-Free. This will help ensure that what you are about to bring home and use will not have harmful effects to your body.
Homeowners would not want to let their children bathe in a tub with plastic bath mats. Harmful toxins have already penetrated the water before you even realize it. A study was conducted by Sweden’s University of Gothenburg stating the hazards brought by generic plastics on the market. The study showed PVC plastics to be widely used in manufacturing products including bathroom mats.
The same study said PVC should be given extra attention because of its properties. It contains carcinogenic monomer and other hazardous chemicals posing threat to your health. Meanwhile, the Center for Health, Environment and Justice conducted a similar study showing phthalates also known as plasticizer agents to be disruptors of the endocrine system.
The study also showed that DEHP, a chemical responsible in making PVC, transfers to the food you eat during storage and processing. Oral exposure to materials having DEHP increases the chance of liver tumors. It is also has an effect with the reproduction of rats and mice. If you’re thinking about recycling, that may not be possible as PVC has a lot of additives making it too difficult to do. Other products combined with PVC for recycling will only be compromised.
These are some of the many reasons why plastic is considered harmful not only to your body but to the entire environment. When your plastic bath mat has already worn out, your tendency is to throw it away. It will only bring damage to our environment as these products do not decompose.