Friday, April 29, 2011

Crocs - Trendy but Possible Carcinogens Are Not My Style!

Earlier in the year we found out about bans on EVA foam play mats and toys in Belgium and France and the EU taking a stance on Formamides. We removed EVA products from our home due to this concern (I don't like having products that "may cause reproductive abnormalities, has caused fetal abnormalities and embryonic death in laboratory animals, or are possible carcinogens" around my children).

Fast forward to April and the nice weather...let's find some "summer shoes". Crocs™ came to mind but then I started wondering, 'what are they made of'?

According to the company they are made out of Croslite™ One source lists that Croslite™ is a foam resin which is made out of a polymer called ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). Seeing "EVA" raised a red flag so I called the company. The CSR was very nice and said she'd send me their "safety information":

"Thank you for your inquiry. Crocs™ shoes are made from Croslite™ material, a proprietary closed-cell resin (PCCR). As such, we cannot discuss its chemical components, or how it is made.

Although we have not had any reports of anyone being allergic to Crocs™ shoes, we have had inquiries into whether or not Crocs™ products contain common allergens. The Croslite™ material contains no latex, rubber, ethyl mercury, or thimerosal, all known allergens.

The Croslite™ material we use in our shoes does not contain fire retardant chemicals, or plasticizers such as phthalates. Our traditional Crocs™ models (i.e. the Beach, Cayman, Cloud, Relief…) do not contain colophony, abitol, abietic acid, chromium, bisphenol A or neomycin. However, there is glue used on the leather upper of the Islander model, the neoprene upper of the Hydro model.

There are no fungicides or anti-bacterial chemicals added to the Croslite™ material. Crocs footwear possess anti-microbial properties because the resin is “closed cell” and self skinning. As such, bacteria can only reside on the surface of the shoe and not cannot be absorbed by the material. Consequently they can be easily disinfected with ordinary bleach and water."

Great that they are absent of those chemicals but what about formamides? I posted on Facebook page... got the same scripted answer. Then I tried their live chat (see transcript below).

I am very disappointed that this question could not be directed to a person who could give me an answer - even "we have not tested our product to determine that". As consumers we have a right to know what chemicals are in the products that we purchase. We should be able to find out if there are possible carcinogens in the materials. I know that part of the reason for the lack of response is no government regulations pertaining to this chemical in the US, but I firmly believe that companies who truly care about consumer safety do present the information, or at least will direct a call to the right person!

So as for us, we will not be purchasing Crocs™. They may be trendy, fun, and easy but they may also be carcinogenic - and that's not my style!

09:46:37 : Jen: Initial Question/Comment: I would like to know if Crocs have been tested for formamides. I have been told that they are made from Croslite which is made of EVA. EVA foam products have been banned in several EU countries due to formamide content.
09:46:37 : System: Welcome to Crocs Live Chat. A Customer Service Agent will be with you momentarily.
09:46:52 : System: [CSR NAME] has joined this session!
09:46:52 : System: Connected with [CSR NAME]. Your Reference Number for this chat is 93235.
09:47:07 : [CSR NAME]: Hello Jen, my name is [CSR NAME]. I would be happy to assist you today.
09:47:27 : [CSR NAME] I apologize but we do not have that information.
09:47:32 : [CSR NAME] You can go to
09:48:44 : Jen: I've read the information on the website and understand what it does not contain (BPA, Phthalates, etc.) but it does not address formamides. Is there anybody in the company who can answer this question?
09:49:17 : [CSR NAME] I apologize but there is not.
09:51:23 : Jen: I don't mean to be a pain but it would be nice for there to be some level of transparency with what chemicals are contained in the product so that parents and adults can make an informed choice on the safety of the product. Formamides are linked to cancer, reproductive issues, etc, hence the ban in several countries in Europe. As a mom, I'd like
09:51:36 : Jen: to know what I'm brining into my home and putting on our bodies.
09:53:07 : [CSR NAME] I do apologize but we cannot give out every chemical or product that is in the shoes. I am sorry.
09:55:18 : Jen: Formamides are not chemicals that would give away the proprietary makeup of croslite but can be biproducts of the manufacturing process which can be harmful. Play mat and toy manufacturers who use EVA foam have had their products tested by independant labs and have even sent the results to consumers to give them peace of mind.
09:56:02 : [CSR NAME] Thank you for contacting Crocs. My name again is [CSR NAME]. If you need any further assistance, please feel free to email me at [CSR NAME] Be sure to sign up for the newsletter to receive updates and promotions! Have a great day!
09:56:02 : System: [CSR NAME] left this session!

I love how she signed off without even commenting on my last statement!

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