Previously there was some controversy about the safety of vinyl in direct contact with food but these fears have been addressed and eliminated for the most part. If you are concerned you can read more about the subject at http://www.vinylnewsservice.com/MainMenu/Factsheets.aspx
I do agree that it is cheaper to make your own mats and I've made several of my own. However the Mat System offered by Caljava is specially treated to release with even horizontal pressure. They work extremely well and are very reasonably priced at $16.99. I would recommend owning at least one for covering larger fondant cakes.
I have the Ateco mats... a bit more expensive but I would never be without them (I have 2 because I cut a hole in the first one so I cut it in half and use them for smaller projects.)
I read the link you provided. I didn't see where it eliminated the food safe questions that have arised. I really didn't even see it mentioned in it. Try this link instead. http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/newscience/oncompounds/phthalates/ph...
Besides the heavy metals (which have been a big issue for our seafood) found in vinyl, there are also Phthlates. This link explains the things that these chemicals can do to us, and provides links to the government programs and labs that verify the information. My vote is that the few dollars you saved is not worth the risk of all of these things that can happen. I would guess, also, that your customers, family, and friends for whom you make cakes would prefer that the "Cheap!" choice not be made on their behalf. Just my two cents. Sweet Wise does a pretty good job on their youtube channel that explains why theirs is food safe. www.youtube.com/sweetwiseinc.
Hello, new to here.
Are these risks at a high level of exposure? Meaning to much use, not one or two?
Where do you get these from, as I am stationed in South Korea and have to basically order or scratch make most everything for cakes. Gets way expensive fast!