Mattress Toxicity

In Non-Toxic Materials, What's In Your Mattress?

September 19, 2012

As you go about your cleaning ritual, mattress toxicity may not be one of your concerns. When you clean your home, your focus may be on using anti-bacterial cleaners in your bathrooms, kitchen, and even on your laminate, wood, or tile flooring. Getting your home environment to be not only clean, but free from disease causing germs is important. Unfortunately, with focusing on the cleanliness and safety of your home, you may be oblivious to something that can cause respiratory problems, skin reactions, and even cancer. This silent home invader is your mattress. Mattress toxicity happens when mattresses “off-gas”, meaning the chemicals used to create the mattress gives off a toxic gas. The length of time “off-gassing” occurs is not known, but diminishes as the mattress ages.

The most common toxic materials used in making a mattress include petrochemicals, polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), formaldehyde, phthalates, and boric acid. These chemicals are used for the foam fillers, material adhesives, and for water-resistance. Most are used to make the mattress flame retardant, per Federal law, causing mattress toxicity to increase. All these chemicals individually give off their own noxious fumes. Some may report smelling the fumes when the mattress is first bought and then it ceases; however, the toxins are continuously being released and inhaled by you. In addition, when you sleep on the mattress, the toxins are known to seep into your body. This is supported through scientific research that has shown related chemicals to be found even in a woman’s breast milk. Children are more likely to suffer more from mattress toxicity, not only because they spend more time sleeping, but because their mattresses are made with more chemicals to prevent wetness from destroying a mattress and prevent the mattress from burning at high degrees. This means that children are more exposed to respiratory problems, such as asthma, and learning disabilities, such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and lower IQ levels. The chemical, PVC, is often used with phthalates to create a softer mattress. Phthalates are known to cause breathing disorders and even cancer. Research has also proven that the chemical, PVC, may be responsible for infant crib deaths; however, this is not being recognized by the government. Heed this warning on mattress toxicity before purchasing your next mattress. It may be well-worth your investment to purchase a mattress free of chemicals to save the health of you and your family.

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