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Topic: Rotary Cutting Mats - No PVC  (Read 2916 times)
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« on: January 04, 2009 09:15:26 AM »

I recently bought a new Fiskars cutting mat and saw the label had a warning that what it is made of is known in the state of CA to cause birth defects & reproductive harm.  I recently found out that I'm pregnant and not willing to take any chances by using this mat, so I'm returning it.  What are my alternatives?

I did some research and found most self-healing mats are PVC (which is the reason for the warning).  I've heard there are some polyethylene mats (pinnables) and seen some other kinds of mats, but not sure how well any will work for cutting fabric.  Does anyone know if these work well with rotary cutters or if there are any particulars brands out there that are good?  I love using a rotary cutter, so I'd love to find something that works.

Thanks!! Smiley
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2009 08:42:13 PM »

These ones say cut absorbing (not self healing) and say they are made of plastic (scroll down to the rectangular size).  It may be worth contacting them to make sure of what they are made of, but they look different than the composition of the self healing type. http://www.cottagemills.com/mats.htm  HTH!
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2009 10:27:33 AM »

Warning labels are insane these days.  Roll Eyes

Yes, if you were to suck on the cutting mat or slice off tiny crumbs & eat them in huge quantities (like a pound a day) you could get cancer. Using it in a normal capacity? (don't melt it, don't eat it) I wouldn't worry about it.

Pumping your own gas when pregnant is far more dangerous than using a cutting mat.
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2009 12:20:04 PM »

Yeah, I'm kinda with Penlowe on this.  From what I understand, your shower curtain, the interior of your car, and all sorts of stuff (inc. the drain pipes in your home) are areas likely loaded with PVC products.

Don't eat it, don't snort it, and don't stress over it too much. 

Sew-Classic                                                                Sew-Classic  
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2009 01:36:03 PM »

I will chime in because I am also obsessive about PVC. I don't have any recommendations for better cutting mats, BUT I can tell you that in cutting mat form, it should pose very little health risk, from what I can tell.

Does it smell like vinyl? (That's what PVC is. Also known as #3 plastic.) If it has that new shower curtain smell, you should probably let it air out. And if you're serious about avoiding that health risk, avoid anything with that smell.

It is true, though, that you're likely exposed to much more PVC than the cutting mat, from a lot of sources that you would not expect. Comparatively, the cutting mat is small potatoes. So you can either decide not to worry over it, like Penlowe and Sew Classic suggest, or you can do some research and start looking into some slightly bigger changes that may make more of an impact. Anyway, whatever you do, good luck! And if you do find a non-pvc rotary cutting mat, let me know!
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2009 03:13:18 PM »

I will offer there are a number of things that work fine as a table protector under a rotary blade, but they will need to be rotated and replaced frequently.

Corugated cardboard
illustration or mat board (some framing places sell center cuts at a discount)
glue saturated felt (after drying)
Several layers of a densely woven fabric (like a stack of denim)
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