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Mattress toxicity is an issue that goes unnoticed by most people.
How the mattress was made and what chemicals were involved in not something that most people think about.
The problem is the vast majority of people are not even aware of the high levels of chemicals present in mattresses.
We just blindly assume that the products available in stores would be healthy and safe. This isn't the case.
VOCs: Many mattresses are made from polyurethane foam, a material derived from petrochemicals that releases what are known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
Chemical Cotton: Even regular cotton mattresses are exposed to a myriad of chemicals during cotton production. The cotton crop is one of the biggest users of pesticides and herbicides in the world. These residues are still present in the cotton fill and fabric on mattresses.
Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a common chemical used in many household products including mattresses. It is the poster child for dangerous chemicals in the home and has been linked to asthma and allergies. In addition to that there are the flame retardant chemicals which while they keep your mattress safe from fire are far from good in terms of the effect on your health.
Flame Retardant Chemicals: In order to meet federal fire laws mattress producers have two options. They can use a chemical spray, which is the cheaper option. Or they can use wool which is naturally flame retardant, although is more expensive. The vast majority of mattresses use the toxic fire retardant option.
The problem with mattress toxicity is that we just don't know what the effects are. Nothing has been proven that says chemicals in mattresses are harmful to humans. But at the same time they haven't been proven to be safe either. There just isn't reliable data or any long term studies.
Studies have been done on mice where it was found exposure to normal mattresses caused respiratory problems.
There is no question that harmful substances exist in mattresses, the issue is to what degree are these substances released and how much of the poison enters the human body.
Just because the effects of the toxins in mattresses are unproven does not mean the risk is not there.
Common sense says that low level exposure to harmful chemicals over a long period of time will make you sick. The scary part is that because it is a slow inducement of toxins you aren't even bound to notice the slow degradation of your health.
Mattress toxicity is too dangerous an issue to ignore. You may not feel so strongly about it that you need to rush out and purchase a new mattress straight away. But if you are looking for a new one anyway then you might want to consider a chemical free mattress.
At the very least educate yourself on the risks so you aren't making a decision in the dark.