the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, We've Got GOTS (Certified Mattresses, That Is), 5 Questions to Ask When Mattress Shopping, 4 Considerations for Your Next Luxury Mattress. Unfortunately, your body heat appears to increase VOC emissions from your mattress, according to tests conducted on eight different types of polyurethane mattresses. Here are the things you should know before you buy. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for consumers to suss out what's in a mattress and what sort of VOCs those materials might produce, Spaeth said. Not all mattresses are created equal and some can negatively impact your health due to chemical off-gassing. What do we know about memory foam? Most mattresses contain petroleum based chemicals, toxic foams, synthetic fabrics, and fire retardant barriers or chemicals. This includes no toxic flame retardant chemicals sprayed on the bed after manufacturing either. Are Mattresses Really Toxic? Most products that use petroleum-based substances in their construction have at least some level of off-gassing, but I've … "In this case, even after six months they still saw appreciable levels of off-gassing.". Most crib mattresses are covered with vinyl cover. So what are those “additional chemicals”? "There is no reason to panic, and yet it is important to understand that air quality in our sleeping micro-environment is important with regard to our exposure to various pollutants such as VOCs," said senior researcher Yael Dubowski, an associate professor with the Israel Institute of Technology. These mattresses also test for formaldehyde. When shopping for a non-toxic mattress, look for the GOTS logo. Moreover, CertiPUR-US certified mattresses do not contain PBDEs or flame retardants, heavy metals, formaldehyde, ozone depleters, and phthalates. Mattresses containing cotton, wool and natural latex will all produce lower levels of gases. Typical mattresses contain chemicals that are not healthy for anyone, but particularly not safe for babies and children. SOURCES: Yael Dubowski, Ph.D., associate professor, Israel Institute of Technology; Sarah Evans, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, environmental medicine and public health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City; Kenneth Spaeth, M.D., chief, occupational and environmental medicine, Northwell Health, Great Neck, N.Y.; July 10, 2019, Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter. Mattresses that have the CertiPUR-US®, OEKO-TEX®, and/or GreenGuard certifications are not toxic and should pose little risk to the health of most adults. Start shopping! It is also common knowledge that many vacuum sealed products such as “mattresses in a box” have had serious off-gassing issues. WEDNESDAY, July 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Most people consider their bed a safe haven, but new research suggests your body heat might … Savvy Rest offers several customizable organic mattresses. According to the EWG, most foam crib mattresses on the market emit large amounts of VOCs, have added toxic flame retardant chemicals, include a variety of fragrance chemicals, and use PVC or vinyl covers that contain phthalates–which can disrupt baby’s hormones and may be linked to asthma.The best option is to buy an organic crib mattress free of harmful chemicals and materials. Sometimes products designed to protect us from one type of harm can have other ill effects. There are a lot of articles circulating online that can make you believe you will get sick because they say mattresses are filled and covered with toxic chemicals. Polyurethane foam contains chemical additives and because it’s flammable, flame retardants are used in the foam or as barriers around the foam. Here are the chemicals in mattresses you should be wary of: Methyl benzene – may affect the nervous system if inhaled. "Often we think, well, if you let something air out for a little while, you can dramatically reduce the level of chemicals that are off-gassed," said Evans, who wasn't involved with the study. The casing should be comprised of both certified organic cotton and certified organic wool. These can also cause respiration problems. Fire barriers in some mattresses are such products. Savvy Rest latex mattresses are GOTS-certified organic as a finished product and are manufactured in a GOTS-certified facility. With so many different types of mattresses on the market, it’s difficult to know which mattresses are safe, comfortable, and durable. Some mattresses may be nearly free of hazardous chemicals, but others could have much higher amounts. Yes. One of the biggest concerns to be aware of is chemical off-gassing. Even worse, this is true even of many mattresses claiming to be “organic” or “all-natural.” How can this be? In addition to being non-toxic, most of the mattresses below have … Flame retardants, formaldehyde, and benzene have been found in some mattresses and can be linked to health issues such as cancer, infertility, and developmental brain disorders. Though many others who are sensitive have done really well with this brand. Today, most memory foam mattresses are 100-percent non-toxic and present no danger to public health. Though fire retardant, some contain toxic chemicals. Toxic chemicals in memory foam. This is a trade-off that some people are happy with making (and others are not). These volatile organic compounds make their way in almost all … Yes, memory foam mattresses are popular for their pressure-relief, responsiveness, and motion isolation. Some of their mattresses use boric acid, and I have heard from some really sensitive folks that they have reacted to the flame retardant-free versions as well (possibly to the boric used nearby, they think). Savvy Rest is the only mattress manufacturer that offers completely GOTS-certified organic mattresses containing natural Talalay latex. One of the most surprising things about toxic chemicals in mattresses is how incredibly common they are. Some of the isocyanates found in memory foam mattresses can cause harm to the skin. Since the mid- to late ’60s, most mattresses have been made of polyurethane foam, a petroleum-based material that emits volatile organic compounds that can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation. All you have to do is choose the one you like best! One of the biggest things you should look for are certifications. In fact, mattresses that are off-gassing harmful VOCs, and emitting toxic chemicals seem to be the norm, and not the exception. Yes, that’s a lot of GOTS but yes, that’s how you know it’s truly an organic product. So, you’ve realized your current mattress isn’t natural and you’re ready to take charge of your health and invest in an organic mattress. In fact, Savvy Rest is the only mattress company in the world that offers them with Talalay latex. Acetone – toxic if inhaled in large amounts and may irritate skin. Are you worried that your current mattress isn’t healthy? © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. These recommended nontoxic mattresses are not only comfortable but also aren’t going to harm you with the materials that they are made of. The wool acts as a natural flame barrier so no chemical flame retardants! But really, they’re a crapfest of toxic, cancer-causing chemicals. In total, we spend about a third of our lives sleeping so it’s important that we choose a mattress that promotes a healthy lifestyle instead of polluting our sleep environment. When it comes to infants bedding, fire retardants compromise only a fraction of the off-gassing chemicals. Prices for mattresses with green claims run from as little as $600 to more than $25,000 for luxury versions. Are memory foam mattresses good? "Indoor air can have as much as 10 times higher VOCs than outdoor air," Evans said. The Novaform mattresses are made with medium grade memory foam, sold at a discount. "It's very hard to get good information about what a mattress contains, and even if you know that, unless you have a good understanding of the different materials it's hard to know what chemicals might be emitted from those materials. "Consumers are in a very difficult position," Spaeth said. Keep reading for our tips. These VOCs come mainly from the polyurethane used in the mattress, but also from other chemicals used in flame retardants and plastics, the researchers said. New crib mattresses off-gass a toxic … Does it really matter? There are “natural” mattresses out there that contain blended latex (latex that is mixed with fillers). To learn more about the risks of breathing in these chemicals from mattresses and furniture on a regular basis, check out our Toxic Dust video. For example, compounds linked to cancer such as acetaldehyde, formaldehyde and benzene approached or exceeded age-adjusted levels, researchers said. These include polyurethane foam, formaldehyde, boric acid, antimony (a heavy metal similar to arsenic) and worst of all, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (also known as … Brand new mattresses may seem gorgeous and beautiful on the outside. You might think I’m crazy; you wouldn’t be the first to think so. While “toxic mattress symptoms” is obviously not a medical term, a mattress can certainly impact your body, for better or for worse. As previously mentioned, the core of the mattress should be natural latex instead of memory foam, polyurethane foam, or blended foams. Here’s what you should consider when evaluating your mattress or when shopping for a new one. Especially for those who have become sensitized to mold toxicity, the idea that a mattress will arrive already contaminated with mold or will become moldy after a period of use may even more concerning than the presence of toxic chemicals in a mattress. The place where you spend one-third of your life is chock-full of synthetic materials, some potentially toxic. Customers can choose which one they prefer or they can opt for a mattress that contains both. The best way to protect against VOCs is to maintain good ventilation inside your home, by opening windows and using fans, they said. There are also mattresses that may be using natural latex but don’t use certified organic wool as a natural flame barrier or don’t have a GOTS-certification for their finished product. If your mattress is off-gassing harmful chemicals, you’re breathing in those toxins for hours every night. Conventional mattresses are pretty much full of nasty, toxic chemicals and made of materials that are linked to a huge list of serious health complications including SIDS, asthma, allergies, reproductive toxicity, respiratory problems, skin irritations, cancer, and more. Experts are generally more concerned about children's exposure to VOCs, said Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, chief of occupational and environmental medicine at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. Estimated exposures remained below the "No Significant Risk Levels" (NSRL) set under strict California environmental laws, researchers noted. The flame retardants used in old mattresses are toxic, but today, those chemicals have largely been discontinued in mattress manufacturing. "By virtue of their age and size, they have heightened vulnerability to potential toxic effects," he said. Some memory foam mattresses contain toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, and naphthalene. "Getting fresh air in can really help reduce those exposures.". MATTRESSES AND MOLD. "Hence, we should make an effort to improve it.". It should be comfortable, durable, safe and yes, even luxurious. If you have a spring or foam bed, chances are you sleep on a toxic mattress. There have been legal consequences for memory foam companies which claimed their products are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 12 reasons why you're tired -- and how to fight them. Isocyanate compounds irritate skin and are harmful to human health. The mattresses had been allowed to air out for at least six months prior to the study, noted Sarah Evans, an assistant professor of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. The casing of the mattress is also made of GOTS-certified organic cotton and GOTS-certified organic wool. Some VOCs, including benzene, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, have been associated with increased cancer risk. Are there health risks associated with isocyanates? Are mattresses really toxic? "These are byproducts of the materials.". "The chemicals that are being emitted are not going to be listed in a label that indicates what the mattress is made of," Spaeth said. A mattress should be an investment with long-term value. This is made from petroleum and is highly flammable. Our latex mattresses are also Greenguard GOLD certified, which means that they meet strict standards for low chemical emissions and are safe for even the most vulnerable populations (children and the elderly). Their prices are fantastic starting at $575. Body heat appeared to increase each mattress' release of VOCs, compared with the levels released when the mattresses were not in use, researchers found. A third certification to look for is GOLS. This is not an issue with organic latex mattresses but can be an issue with memory foam mattresses or mattresses made of polyurethane or other synthetics. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Or maybe you are aware that mattresses can be toxic, but you’re probably having a hard time trying to figure out which non-toxic mattress is good for you? Some materials that are used in mattresses have exceptional properties that provide a brilliant night’s sleep, but they are also often toxic. You may experience itchy/sore throat, skin, nose, and eye irritation, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. (US only. While “toxic mattress symptoms” is obviously not a medical term, a mattress can certainly impact your body, for better or for worse. All mattresses sold in the United States must be able to withstand an open flame for a set period of time, per federal guidelines. These chemicals can off-gas to expose your family to dangerous levels of toxins while they sleep. For the study, Dubowski and her colleagues subjected eight different mattresses to simulated sleeping conditions, mimicking the elevated body heat, humidity and carbon dioxide caused by humans when they sleep for even a few hours. Toxic mattresses pose higher risk for infants and children. Savvy Rest offers both Dunlop and Talalay latex in their mattresses. All rights reserved. You can even opt for a mattress that contains both latex and springs if you prefer a mattress with a bit more bounce. The average person can spend 6-10 hours a day in bed, and we often expect that manufacturers make mattresses safe or at least benign. But don't toss out your mattress just yet: The estimated doses of most VOCs remained well below the levels that could cause health effects, researchers noted. Overall, these mattresses have multiple softness and firm options, which fit the needs of most shoppers. GOLS stands for Global Organic Latex Standard. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)findings confirm the toxicity of these materials. However, if the exposure levels took into account a child's age, the picture took on more concern. Isocyanates are the raw materials that make up all polyurethane products.”. That’s not to mention the other symptoms we mentioned related to chemical flame retardants. Not all mattresses are created equal and some can negatively impact your health due to chemical off-gassing. The place where you spend one-third of your life is chock-full of synthetic materials, some potentially toxic. However, some compounds did reach levels of concern for infants and young children, if their ages were considered in exposure calculations, the researchers added. This means that the casing is free of pesticides, bleach, or other harmful chemicals. Babies in particular spend a lot of time in their crib, lying on foam mattresses that produce these gases, said Spaeth, who had no part in the study. Mattresses are known to release minute amounts of gaseous chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Health effects associated with VOCs range from eye, nose and throat irritation to headaches and organ damage, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The mattresses that we are calling “The Good Stuff” make all the claims of safety and non-toxic materials and processes, but don’t have all of the top-level certifications. Start here. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, these compounds “react with compounds containing alcohol (hydroxyl) groups to produce polyurethane polymers, which are components of polyurethane foams, thermoplastic elastomers, spandex fibers, and polyurethane paints. The new study was published July 10 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. We offer completely GOTS-certified organic mattresses. Here’s what you should consider when evaluating your mattress or when shopping for a new one. Even if these chemicals don't do immediate harm, there is concern that exposure will increase their lifelong risk of cancer, Evans and Spaeth said. Are mattresses really toxic? That is because organic crib mattresses, innerspring mattresses, and other mattress options that have CertPUR-US logos do not contain toxic materials. Most mattresses are made with polyurethane foam as the filling material. [dt_gap height=”10″ /] What’s hiding in your mattress? Consumers also can choose mattresses made of materials other than polyurethane foam, Evans said. In order to achieve this certification, the latex must be composed of more than 95% organic raw material. The Dunlop latex in Savvy Rest mattresses is GOLS-certified. A big misconception about organic mattresses is that they are hypoallergenic and won’t trigger allergy or chemical sensitivity problems like synthetic mattresses sprayed with flame retardants like tempur-pedic or sleep number beds. Toxic compounds make toxic products. When shopping, it’s important to notice certifications and materials. Memory foam may contain isocyanates. Foam breaks down over time into small particles, which can become airborne. GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard. The mattress industry has not always been known for its commitment to consumer safety. WEDNESDAY, July 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Most people consider their bed a safe haven, but new research suggests your body heat might trigger the release of potentially harmful chemicals from your mattress. The Consequences of Flame Proofing Many memory foam mattresses contain additives that are designed to slow or prevent the spread of flames. Natural latex is a healthier option that offers both support and pressure point relief without the chemicals and without retaining your body heat, which causes an uncomfortable “hot sleep.” Cooling properties added to some memory foam mattresses simply add more potentially harmful chemicals to the product. 3. 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