How to Buy a Safe, Reasonably-Priced Mattress Without Harmful Chemicals
I recently came across an interesting story about a man named Michael Paese. Six years ago, he developed debilitating health problems. His energy levels were depleted and he slept most of the day. He also had difficulty focusing and developed a serious metabolic disorder. As a former triathlete, he knew something was radically wrong. Fortunately, he had a very intelligent internist that asked him if anything changed in his life when he became ill. The only thing he could think of that had changed was his new bed. Even though it seemed like a long shot, he decided to replace his mattress again. Amazingly enough, after getting rid of his mattress he began to recover over time and is finally able to compete in triathlons again. Later his wife admitted that she was convinced he had been dying but was afraid to say so.
Unfortunately, there are numerous stories that are very similar to this one. I had been wondering about the safety of our mattresses for years, but Michael's story finally prompted me to do some serious research.
We spend approximately one-third of our life sleeping (and a lot of us spend additional time lying around in bed). The typical mattress is comprised of many harmful toxins that build up in the body over time, leading to an overall decline in health. Few people know about this, but a little research yields a lot of proof. If you could change this potentially dangerous aspect of your environment without much effort, wouldn't you make it a priority?
I decided that due to my history of cancer and the reality of sleeping on a mattress that had seen better days, it was time to finally get a new, safer one. Some of my earlier research had led me to believe that the only way to get a mattress without the harmful chemical flame retardants was to get a doctor's note, and then I'd be left with a dangerously flammable sleeping environment. In addition, such a custom request could be prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, it turns out I was incorrect, and the goal was much easier to accomplish than I feared.
In fact, after doing research for this article I feel compelled to replace the mattresses my children use as well. I was surprised how dangerous the majority of mattresses really are and how many chronic illnesses that often seem to mystify doctors can be cured by simply removing dangerous mattresses from the house.
Most Mattresses Contain Dangerous Chemicals
90% of all mattresses contain numerous harmful chemicals such as polyurethane foam, formaldehyde, and cotton pesticides. However the real danger is in the toxic chemicals used as a flame retardant.The Consumer Products Safety Commission requires all mattresses sold in the U.S. to be able to withstand thirty minutes of exposure to an open flame. Soaking the mattress in chemicals is the most economical way for mattress companies to comply with these requirements. Some of the chemicals that coat the entire mattress are boric acid (poison that causes hair loss, skin reactions, and serious illness), antimony (arsenic that can cause kidney and liver damage and even cancer), silicon (a carcinogen that causes respiratory issues), melamine (a carcinogen found in industrial cleaners), formaldehyde (another carcinogen), and decabromodiphenyl oxide (another carcinogen). As you all know, a carcinogen is a substance capable of causing cancer.
These chemicals ultimately leach through any mattress covers or sheets and are absorbed through the skin. When you spend approximately one third of your life sleeping, how can you rest peacefully knowing you may be filling your body with harmful chemicals?
Fun Mattress Facts:
- The average memory foam mattress emits 61 chemicals.
- Many people have complained of rashes, flu-like symptoms, sore throats, and frequent nosebleeds after purchasing a new mattress.
- Using carcinogens as a flame retardant is much more economical than using natural organic wool but is no more effective.
How Safe is Your Mattress?
Why Are These Chemicals Dangerous?
The toxins from the materials used in most mattresses build up in the body leading to an overall deterioration of one's health. Here are just a few of the side effects that can result from chemicals used in the majority of mattresses:
- Brain damage
- Learning and memory deficits
- SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
- Damage to the heart,lungs, and kidneys
- Birth Defects
- Skin rashes
Would you pay slightly more for an organic mattress that uses wool rather than toxic chemicals?
A Safer Alternative
When I began my research, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that wool has flame-retardant properties that are sufficient to comply with the requirements set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Therefore, there is no need whatsoever to coat mattresses with poisonous chemicals. I then thought I would have to pay an exorbitant price or might be unable to find a place that sells mattresses that use wool. The reality is there are numerous places to choose from both online as well as within 20 minutes of my home. Because there are many options, the prices are competitive and now I simply have to visit a few stores and read reviews before selecting a mattress.
Never assume that simply because a store claims to sell organic mattresses that they are guaranteed to be free of toxic chemicals. The term 'organic' simply means there is at least one organic material used in the mattress. You need to determine that ALL the material that the mattress is comprised of is organic and free from harmful chemicals. This was very easy to verify in the stores that sell chemical-free mattresses because they volunteered the information without being asked.
The first store I went into had many mattresses comprised of wool, cotton, and natural latex at varying price ranges.The ones at the lower end of the price range felt a little too firm but due to my budget I may have to sacrifice a little comfort. The owner was very helpful and answered all my questions. The store also sold pillows and mattress covers that are free from toxins. I sensed there was room for negotiation and I will return after visiting a few other stores and researching the online companies.
If you are unable to purchase a safe organic mattress, you can improve your situation by covering your mattress in plastic to create a barrier to the leaching chemicals. The plastic cover should be comprised of polyethylene because that is the safest. Other plastics may leach chemicals. Ultimately a new safe organic mattress is the best option but a plastic cover will create a significant improvement.
When you are ready to purchase your next mattress for yourself or a family member, think about the risks associated with your purchase. Perhaps you should consider buying one that has not been soaked in chemicals that in turn have the potential to soak into your skin and cause future health problems. If the demand for chemical-free products grows, then manufacturers will be forced to make changes, benefiting the consumers who buy them. Make the effort to change your own environment one product at a time and you will reap all the health benefits.
Chemical-Free Mattress Prices
Healthy Choice Organic Mattresses
Healthy Choice Organic Mattresses