Question: Do you know the identity of the soft, non-skid “rubbery” parts that are often included on Sassy or Munchkin products? These seem a lot like PVC to me, but might be silicone. I know they are BPA free and SAY they are PVC free, but then what exactly is the material and is it safe?
Answer: It’s a pain not knowing what’s what, so we reached out to our favorite expert Alicia from The Soft Landing to get the skinny on this mystery material so often found on baby toys and teethers. She knew exactly what it was of course! Here’s what she had to say:
“While PVC is sometimes used in various parts of teethers, the dense “rubbery” areas on teethers (and even non-skid bowls and such) are usually made from either silicone or thermoplasticized rubber (TPR). TPR is a great choice because it doesn’t require the use of BPA and is made without PVC (and thus phthalates). Thermos uses it for their Foogo sippy spouts. PVC is typically found in hollow, squeeky bath toys or dense, plastic baby dolls with a harder feel (less rubbery) and is hardly ever used in eating gear. Silicone and TPR are both usually BPA-free, because they simply don’t require the use of a hardening/strengthening agent like polycarbonate plastic does.
If a manufacturer goes the extra trouble of actually labeling a product as BPA or PVC-free, you can usually assume that it’s true. They are not required by law to label their products with materials used (or not used in some cases), so if they do, they are laying their reputation on the line.”
Thanks Alicia! As always, if you’re ever in doubt about a product or material… do your shopping at The Soft Landing. There you are sure to get non-toxic safe feeding and baby gear. Be sure to check out her great holiday specials too! Alicia also runs the The Soft Landing Blog where you can find great information on a bevy of other children’s feeding and toy gear… check it out!