Mattress toxins and the prescription bed cure
Many of our mattresses can be custom-ordered without any chemical fire retardants.
Modern mattresses are a veritable minefield of chemicals, torturous spring systems and fire retardants. Many of the components that go into a the typical mattress now require advanced degrees in materials science to properly understand. Nowhere is this more true than the chemicals that are used to fireproof a mattress.
While it is admirable that mattresses are made as fire resistant as possible, the things in the world that resist open flam, unfortunately for consumers, are either durable and very hard, or very powerful chemicals. Let's all take a minute to recall that asbestos was touted as a miracle substance for it's incredible ability to resist catching on fire. Asbestos still used in many industrial settings because of the miracle property. It was not until decades later, when many people began to develop mesothelioma and other cancers that the long-term dangers of risks from asbestos became fully clear.
Now we are all unwilling participants in a similar kind of study. Modern mattresses, in order to meet flame resistance standards, are practically soaked in these similar chemicals. In most cases the effects of long-term exposure to these fire resistant chemicals is unknown. In many cases the chemicals themselves are closely held proprietary formulations so it is not even possible to know what the chemicals are.
Risks and Dangers from mattress fire proofing:
- The chemicals used to flameproof mattresses have never been studied for human exposure risk in this application. (Except now the CPSC has released a limited study.)
- We know almost all the chemicals to flameproof mattresses are acutely toxic and many also cause cancer.
- The science of Toxicology uses high-dose short-term exposure on various animals to predict the effect of low-dose long-term exposure on humans. This is exactly the risk in mattresses, close chronic exposure eight hour per day for the rest of our and our children's lives.
- The developing fetus and young child is particularly vulnerable to certain environmental toxins. Over the past three decades, researchers have found that remarkably low-level exposures to these toxins are linked with less overt symptoms of toxicity—intellectual impairments, behavioral problems, spontaneous abortions, or preterm births.
- Antimony Trioxide is the most commonly used flame retardant in mattresses to meet the new law. Antimony is a heavy metal like Lead with similar toxic effects. Antimony is proven to leach from mattresses and linked to heart damage, cancer, and SIDS.
- Boric Acid, also a roach killer, is commonly used as a flame retardant in mattresses to meet the new law. It is known to attack the developing fetus and testicles as it primary targets. In addition to death, birth defects, infertility, and sterility, studies show overexposure reduces sexual activity in humans.
- Children could be poisoned from sucking on a Boric Acid mattress. There are 6,463 cases of Boric Acid Poisoning in the US each year.
- Formaldehyde, Bromine, and other dangerous chemicals are also used in many systems. It is difficult if not impossible to find the truth. Even mattress manufacturers usually don't know which chemicals are present in their flame barrier systems. We can't find any, but even if safe systems exist, all mattresses must be safe or we will eventually harm or kill a percentage of our people. If 33% prove toxic, 100 Million people are harmed. If only 1% prove toxic, it is still 3 Million people harmed or killed.
- We should learn from our toxic legacies of the past. We have made previous mistakes with flame retardants such as PCB's banned in the 70's, Tris, Asbestos, and now PBDE's are being found in peoples bodies and women's breast milk in alarming and growing amounts.
- The chemical industry estimates we save up to 960 people per year with the 1.2 Billion pounds of flame retardants the US uses annually. Now we will be required to sleep in them too. We have already killed 300,000 people, and continue to kill 10,000 annually, with Asbestos alone.
- Consumers will be forced to pay an average of $100 more for every new mattress purchased to meet this law.
- The innerspring mattress industry through their trade association ISPA went to the CPSC and asked for this law. It seems clear it benefits the large companies by restraining competition, forcing the smaller companies out of business, and raising prices, revenue, and profits.
- Even the man who started and wrote this law in California, Whitney Davis, is now having second thoughts: "The Problem: the only chemicals they can use to achieve compliance are listed as toxic to humans by the EPA." and "You don't know until 10 years down the road and there's a problem," he said. "We feel responsible."
Don't worry, there is a solution
Thanks to the Eco Mattress Store and our strategic relationships with our manufacturing partners, you can have your doctor, chiropractor or osteopath write you a prescription for a chemical free mattress. This is a mattress that will be made without any fire retardant chemicals, pesticides or other potentially carcinogenic heavy metals. Sleep easy knowing you're sleeping in the cleanest sleep environment you can find.