The immensely popular and useful EVA foam (ethylene-vinyl acetate foam) is manufactured by causing a copolymerization reaction between ethylene and phenylacetate. The ethylene forms around 60% of the total composition. Today EVA foams have successfully replaced PVC foam, wood composites, mineral wool, natural rubber, and fiberglass, to name a few. EVA foam makes for excellent packaging material. It protects the product not only from perishing but also from impact, getting crushed, or breakages. If you want more details about packaging solutions, check out packaging solution Malaysia.
Benefits of EVA foam
EVA foams offer many benefits like
- High strength at extreme temperatures
- Better gloss and clarity
- Resistance to cracking under severe stress
- Resistant to the harmful UV rays of the sun
- Retention of shape and flexibility under severe conditions
- Waterproofing capability
- Colour absorption
- Quick compression recovery
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Is EVA safe?
EVA is most often considered to be a safe alternative compared to PVC since it does not require any plasticizers like phthalates. Furthermore, EVA is BPA-free. This is the reason it is used in a wide variety of medical equipment packaging. However, a few years back, it was noticed that EVA foam contains a component called formamide. Formamide is primarily added to make the EVA foam soft. However, formamide has been known to act as a developmental toxin and also has carcinogenic properties. There are two ways in which formamide might get absorbed: via the skin and via breathing in the material. In 2011, Belgian band EVA floor mats for kids for this reason.
However, EVA foam has not been banned anywhere else all across the world. In Australia, the EVA foam mats were tested by the ACCC as well as some other consumer safety agencies. According to them, the EVA foam mats and other toys available in the Australian market did not expose the kids to any unsafe levels of formamide. Therefore, the products were safe and could be used.
The Canadian government also conducted tests to check the levels of formamide in EVA products. They also concluded that the levels of formamide produced in the EVA do not make it harmful for use.
How can you avoid the formamide in EVA foam?
Despite EVA foam being considered safe by ACCC and other testing companies in different countries, you may still want to ensure that the products you are buying are formamide-free. For this, you should check the packaging of the product. Some companies would mention the same on their website. However, if you are unsure if the product contains formamide or not, you can ask the company by emailing them. If despite this, you are unsure or if the company does not tell you whether they use formamide or not in their items, you should avoid buying the product.
Furthermore, if you are not sure that the product is made of PVC or EVA, just sniff it. If the product smells of chemicals, it is probably PVC, and you can avoid buying it.