Is your mattress safe?
Last week I mentioned that I’m concerned about potential sources of harmful chemicals in
the home. With a baby on the way, I’m especially concerned about troubling
household chemicals that lurk in unexpected places. I know that infants and
children, with their developing immune systems and growing nervous systems, are
especially vulnerable to the effects of subtle toxins. which are surprisingly
common in the environment.
Every day you face numerous challenges as you navigate past processed foods and avoid
sugared soft drinks and juices. Choosing fresh, organic, whole foods is one way
to avoid some of the chemical additives that are so common in the food supply.
I’ve mentioned that artificial food dyes—which are included in soft drinks,
children’s cereals, and other prepared and packaged foods—have been linked to
hyperactivity in some children. So I definitely recommend avoiding those
petroleum-based synthetic food additives.
But what about other, less obvious dangers in the home? After you and your family have spent
the day eating and drinking healthfully, it’s time for some well-deserved rest.
So what do you do? You go to sleep on your comfy mattress, of course. What
could be better for health than a good night’s sleep? Well, sleep is certainly
important. It’s one of the foundations of good health.
But how safe is your sleeping environment? There’s far more to choosing a good mattress than
determining how much support it provides. Recently, I was alarmed to learn that
most mattresses on the market are potential sources of toxic chemicals. These
days, most mattresses are made from complex synthetic chemical compounds, like
polyurethane, and synthetic adhesives. From known carcinogens to volatile
organic compounds (VOCs) and chemical flame retardants, your mattress may not
be as safe and cozy as you thought. Tomorrow and for the rest of this week,
I’ll pull back the covers to expose the hidden dangers lurking in your bedroom.
Jinno H, Tanaka-Kagawa T, Furuta M, Shibatsuji M, Nishimura T. [Volatile organic compounds
(VOCs) emitted from wood furniture--estimation of emission rate by passive flux
sampler]. Kokuritsu Iyakuhin Shokuhin Eisei
Nakaoka R, Tsuchiya T, Nakamura A. Studies on the mechanisms of
tumorigenesis induced by polyetherurethane in rats: production of superoxide,
tumor necrosis factor, and interleukin 1 from macrophages cultured on different
polyetherurethanes. J Biomed Mater Res. 2000 Jan;49(1):99-105.