Most conventional mattresses are full of toxic chemicals that can pollute the air you breathe and negatively impact your health. These include polyurethane foam, flame retardants linked to cancer and hormone disruption, and PVC or vinyl covers.
If you want to make sure that your mattress is safe for you, opt for one that is made from organic cotton or natural latex. It’s also important to check whether it has a GOTS-certified wool fire barrier or natural silica particles to protect you from the harmful fumes of chemical flame retardants.
1. Flame Retardant Chemicals
The most common fire in a bed is caused by cigarettes, so it’s important for mattresses to pass flammability tests. This test is done by using lit cigarettes to start a fire, and the mattress must withstand a two foot wide flame for 70 seconds.
During this time, the flame retardants in the mattress release toxic smoke and carbon monoxide into the air that kills you much quicker than normal smoke would. This combination of toxic smoke and carbon monoxide is called a “smoke-inhalation death” and accounts for nearly half all fire-related deaths.
Fortunately, the good news is that many mattress companies have chosen to use naturally fire-retardant materials like wool, cotton, and even latex, which can withstand the same flammability tests without adding chemicals. The bad news is that not all mattresses are made with these safe materials.
2. Carcinogenic Chemicals and Pesticides
A conventional mattress is a synthetic, man-made product that is loaded with carcinogenic chemicals and pesticides. These substances are not only harmful to people who sleep on them, but also to our planet and the environment as a whole.
These chemicals are known to off-gas or release into the air over time, causing health issues for respiratory, skin and other problems. Many of these substances have been linked to asthma, allergies, and lung, nose and throat cancers.
Benzene, formaldehyde and other carcinogens can be found in conventional mattresses. These substances have been shown to cause cancers in both humans and animals.
If you are a person who suffers from cancer, it is important to get a non-toxic, eco-friendly mattress. This will protect you and your family from the dangers of chemicals that may contribute to your disease.
Among the most common chemicals found in mattresses, formaldehyde has been linked to asthma, allergies, and lung, nose, and throat cancers. It can also cause rashes and skin irritation.
Formaldehyde is a colorless gas with a pungent smell that is produced by burning wood, cooking and smoking. It is also released by materials such as paper and plastic.
It is important in many types of building products, adhesives and coatings, and sanitary products. It can also be used in textiles to make them crease resistant and durable.
Formaldehyde is a major component in manufacturing fire-retardant materials, and in the production of permanent-press or durable-press resins that are a binder in textile printing. It is also a major industrial disinfectant and a preservative for food, medicines, and cosmetics.
4. Polyurethane Foam
There are many different types of polyurethane foam that can be used for mattresses. They vary in firmness and elasticity, and are engineered to be comfortable for various body types.
Memory foam, a type of flexible polyurethane foam, is a popular choice because it provides pressure relief and a contouring surface that helps align the spine. It also reduces movement transfer from one sleeper to the next, making it a great option for those with sensitive skin or who suffer from chronic pain.
But the truth is that most polyurethane foam mattresses contain chemicals that are not only dangerous to our health, but they also cause off-gassing and release toxins into the air as the mattress breaks down.
This can lead to respiratory problems and allergic reactions, especially if you have asthma or a weak immune system. These volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be released during the manufacturing process, as well as when the foam is stored and transported.