You Need Healthy, Non-Toxic Sleep
The quality of sleep you receive is critical to your overall health and wellness. At Intellibed, we’re dedicated to providing you and your family with mattresses that not only provide optimum comfort and support but also ensure that you and your family are not exposed to potential toxins. Growing evidence links a range of illnesses and diseases to toxic off-gassing from synthetic materials and flame retardants found in most conventional mattresses.
With the number of sleep disorders growing at alarming rates, it’s time consumers studied the link between toxicity and sleep.
Evolution of the Modern Mattress
Mattress History: From Natural to Synthetic
In the early parts of the 20th century, mattresses were made with cotton batting for cushioning and steel springs for support. This combination provided both natural, non-toxic cushioning and strong support. However, with the invention of petroleum-based polyurethane foam in 1937 this began to change. By the 1950’s polyurethane foam began to replace cotton, even though such foam is known to off-gas VOC’s or volatile organic compounds. In fact, according to the EPA, exposure to such petrol-based foams has been linked to respiratory and other health problems.
Over the last 30 years, cotton has been completely replaced by synthetic foams for both support and cushioning. At the same time, the number of sleep-related problems has also increased. The fact is, most consumers don’t know that nearly all of today’s mattresses are made up of these petrol-based, synthetic foams.
Federal Flammability Standards
In 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission required all mattresses to meet strict flame resistant standards. Unfortunately, the Commission did not mandate which materials should be used by companies to accomplish this. As a result, mattress makers now spray a cocktail of chemicals both to the outside and inside of their mattresses to provide this flame resistant barrier.
Here are just a few of the chemicals used in mattress flame retardants:
- PCDE’s (polybrominated diphenyl ethers)
PCDE’s were used in mattresses before 2004. However, since it was determined that these chemicals were toxic to your liver, thyroid, and nervous system mattress, companies have phased use out.
- Boric Acid (known carcinogen properties)
- Melamine resin (contains formaldehyde)
Perhaps the most disconcerting fact relating to fire retardant chemicals is that most companies do not disclose to consumers the chemicals they use, nor do they disclose the quantities used. Instead, there is a vague statement such as our products “consistently meet all safety standards”.
Toxic Mattress Materials
How can a mattress be toxic? The danger from conventional mattresses comes from off-gassing, where toxic chemicals inside and outside of the mattress emits fumes that people breathe or absorb through the skin.
A mattress contains toxic chemicals from foam fillers, adhesives, flame retardants, and waterproofing.
With new mattresses, especially memory foam based mattresses, this off-gassing is very apparent. Do a simple Google search for ‘memory foam off-gassing’ and you will find hundreds of examples where consumers purchased a memory foam bed and were unable to stand the chemical smell for the first several days of ownership. Unfortunately, this off-gassing continue to be a problem with such mattresses throughout the life of the product, even though the odor goes away.
Toxic Research Linking Mattress Materials to Diseases
Mattress toxicity research has primarily focused on groups of people who require more sleep due to age and condition — specifically infants, children and pregnant women. However, the potential for harm from off-gassing from synthetic materials and flame retardants can affect everyone, no matter what age.