The Yoga Project: Toxic Yoga Mat Woes

I’ve had the same yoga mat since I was 19 years old. I’m pretty sure that old toxic yoga mat is full of nasty PVC, but I also have a hard time justifying a new one when the old one is still pretty much like new.

The thing is, I worry a little bit about what my PVC mat could be doing to my health. Between the chlorine, dioxin, and phthalates , I’m starting to think that resting my face right on an old PVC mat is probably not the healthiest choice.

I did a little searching and found a couple of mats that look like an improvement:

  • I’ve been drooling over this one made from recycled rubber. It’s PVC-, chlorine-, and latex-free! It’s also $55, which is a little steep for a yoga mat. Though if it lasts over a decade like my current one has, maybe it’s not so expensive after all?
  • There are also these mats from Bean Products that say they’re made from “Clean PVC.” Here’s what the company says about it:

    We call it Clean PVC tm an eco friendly yoga mat made of PER (Polymer Environmental Resin), which is a unique material that is more sensitive to the environment and your health than yoga mats made of standard PVC foam. This mat does not contain toxic phthalates, dioxins and furans, phenal, or heavy metals and has a ecologically safer method of production which is better for the workers and the environment – and most importantly it performs great for all types of yoga with excellent traction and cushion!!

Do any of you guys have safer yoga mats that you use and like? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Here’s the other thing. Say I do take the plunge and get a new mat – how do I dispose of my old one? Can I toss it in with the recycling? Are there special facilities that take it? Can I craft with it?

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by pacbat

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11 comments on “The Yoga Project: Toxic Yoga Mat Woes
  1. Hey Becky,
    I’ve been thinking about getting a new mat and thought of this post. Just wanted an update – do you still like your recycled rubber mat? Does it smell weird? What did you end up doing with your old mat?

  2. Pingback: Six Ways to Refresh Your Yoga Practice | Green Monkey Articles

  3. Great article. I’m writing something similar and came across this! Wondered if you’d mind me using your yoga mat image, if I link back to you? Could you let me know?

  4. Pingback: Is PVC the new asbestos? | Lotuspad eco yoga mats

  5. Oooh interesting! Do you have a link?

    …and you’re so right. I think that’s an attitude that we need to get back to as a society. Making quality products rather than ones designed to become obsolete or break and be replaced.

  6. I use a korq mat. I have looked for a while. I really like it. Not cheap but as the spainards say “lo barato sale caro”. (what is cheap ends up being expensive..because you have to keep rebuying it)

  7. Yeah, the whole BPA in canned food situation is a mess. I can’t believe the FDA said basically that they can’t regulate it!

    That’s a good idea for a used mat. If donating to the Y doesn’t work out, I just might use it under the thin rug in our laundry room..

  8. I have the same issue with canned goods.
    I bought canned tomatoes on sale – before the whole BPA controversy came out – and I have a case in my basement that I don’t know what to do with. Some suggest donating them but if I’m not going to eat them because of BPA, why would I want to subject others to it?

    At least you don’t ingest yoga mats. You can prolly put it underneath the kitchen rug as padding. Not the greatest since it’s still in your house but at least it’s not against your face while doing down dog.

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