Isabella loves nothing more than wriggling around and splashing in the bath. She loves her little bath, but she really is now a much too big fish for such a small pond as I end up wet with all her excited flapping.
Now we have some non- toxic bath toys (I’ll write a post on that soon), I thought I was pretty set for the transition… I just needed a bath mat, surely that’s easy to find? Well, finding a non-toxic bath mat is super tricky if you’re wanting the classic rubbery, grippy kind like I did!
Most bath mats are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), nicknamed the poison plastic! In manufacture, it releases a chemical called dioxin (used in agent orange!) which is carcinogenic and disperses into our environment so completely, that it’s in a lot of meats, dairy and fish. When we use PVC products, we are exposed to the harmful phthalates used to soften it, and also often lead. In disposal, it leaches chemicals into the soil or if burnt, even more toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. So, basically it’s just horrible from start to finish!
To make PVC flexible and bendy, like a bath mat, phthalates (see previous post) are used. DEHP is a type of phthalate commonly used and often thought to be the worst of them. It is strongly linked to:
-Potential birth defects particularly in men
-Mental and intellectual delays in development
Australia only has regulation of DEHP for children’s toys up to 36 months (for which it allows 10 times more than the U.S and E.U think is safe!) There is no other regulation of DEHP at all… Even for children’s products, such as bath mats. As DEHP leaches out of PVC, I certainly don’t want Isabella sitting in a bath of it night after night. Particularly as one of her favourite activities is to suck water from her face washer!
So what can we do as an alternative? There are some different options;
1) Wooden bath mats, which I can’t imagine are too comfy for little bottoms and more remind me of something you step onto getting out of the bath rather than sitting on in it.
2) Cotton/bamboo bath rugs. These could be a great option, although I’m not sure whether they have enough time to dry even if hung up or whether they’d just be damp and smelly…
3) My favourite option- natural rubber. It feels like a bath mat should, without any risk of chemicals. I went with this option, (pictured) from the brand Hevea, which was the only pure natural rubber one I could find.
So next stop, the ‘big-girl’ bath!