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September 07, 2010


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Hi, Sophie. Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. I have spent a little time looking at the research on phthalates and young children. Based on what I have read, it appears that the greatest risk would be to children who are chewing on toys or items containing phthalates. It is, obviously, very important to discourage children from putting ANYTHING in their mouth, regardless of its chemical contents, due to the risk of choking. I feel comfortable continuing to use these mats in my classroom evenwithout knowing whether or not they are phthalate-free since I have not ever seen a child putone in their mouth.From what I have read phthalates are in many common everyday items and we all have them in our bodies. Each person, parent or teacher will have to do what they are comfortable with in regards to this potential safety issue. I do appreciate that you have helped to increase our awareness. Thanks so much!

To: directress@live.com

Sophie Hatfield

Since the readers of this blog are parents and educators that are deeply involved in their children's day to day activities I wanted to pass on what I have learned about some of the suction cup mats.

They are truly fabulous for developing small coordination, concentration and children adore doing activities with them. However, many of the suction mats that are sold, as many other shower/bath products have phthalates in them. Phthalates are chemicals added to plastics to make them soft and give them flexibility (think of rubber duckies).

Questions and concerns about phthalates have been raised by consumer groups during the last few years that they may cause developmental problems in young children, particularly boys. Phthalates appear to the body as chemically similar to estorgen; hence the concern that it might impair male development.

Because of this concern (though based on largely unproven science), the Congress acted to ban all phthalates from toys. Since February 2009, it has been against the law for any manufacturer or retailer to sell a product containing phthalates that might be considered a toy, including a so-called educational activity.

So, if this is a concern of yours, I suggest you ask your supplier to provide test results documenting that the suction mats are phthalate free. If you are purchasing these from stores other than teacher stores or toy stores they will not be required to have testing and therefore may very likely have phthalates in them.


THe ones that I sent the link to from "cal ben soap" are fairly cheap. I got 2 for $5.00 I think. I called first and asked for cheaper shipping since I was only ordering 1 thing. You get 2 for $5.00 as well so I felt it was worth it. You can rarely find a circle shaped suction cup these days and as a teacher and mother I can't run around looking any more. So order from Cal Ben and call it a day!


Shame my comments didn't seem to work on the original post about these.


also if you don't have any to swap, we are giving about a week for anyone interested to go find some TO swap. so far bed, bath, and beyond is the place i have found them, in three varieties...with 5-6 per package. come join us!

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