PVC Yoga Mats: Safe or Toxic?
Polyvinil Chloride (PVC), a common material in many yoga mats, is one of the most toxic plastics. This explains why in TwentyFour Seven Yoga Mats we don't use PVC in our mats and all are made of natural rubber + microfiber suede.
PVC is toxic during every stage of its life cycle. It is toxic during its manufacture; it is toxic to the end consumers; and it is toxic during its disposal. As consumers, we are exposed to PVC, through inhalation and skin contact.
With PVC yoga mats, you might read that they are free of toxic phthalates, lead, BPA, etc., which does not mean that the yoga mat is free of PVC.
OEKO-Tex, a European agency that tests products for harmful substances, both legal and illegal to use, certifies PVC. Apparently there is a new technology to make PVC yoga mats in such a way that it satisfies OEKO-Tex standard limits
However, the standard does not look into whether the production and disposal of PVC are toxic to the environment. We know that PVC is not biodegradable so the only way to get rid of it is to burn it. When PVC is burned, the chlorine produces extremely toxic and persistent dioxins that end up in soil, fish, animals, water, air, and ultimately in our bodies.