As soon as there is a catch cry about something being poisonous in cake decorating, my initial reaction is to go and find out as much information as I can about so I can make an informed
decision about it.
After doing some extensive reading, the bottom line is the longer something is exposed to the relevent types of plastics (Polycarbonate and PVC that is flexible
), the more BPAs and phthalates are absorbed by the food/drink. Not even canned goods are safe from this as the cans are lined with an epoxy resin that contains phthalates!
But the key words are LONG EXPOSURE
Yes fondant may pick up a miniscule amount of these chemicals from a non 'food grade' vinyl mat, but in the overall exposure to BPAs and phthalates it isn't significant, when compared to exposure through other sources, especially when you start looking at items that have been canned or heated in containers that use the relevant plastics.
So yes the fondant may have been rolled out on a vinyl mat, but when you add all the canned drinks, the meat or vegetables and fruit that are wrapped in plastic, cheese wiz, canned whipped cream etc etc that is probably going to be served at the party, the fondant will be the one with the least significant amounts of BPAs and pthalates.
This site is the Australian consumer watchdog - CHOICE - discussion and investigation into food safe plastics. It was done in January 2010 so may not be up to date with current research.