Organic Latex vs Natural and Synthetic Latex
Organic Latex: Organic latex is made from the sap of the Hevea Brasiliensis Tree which is processed (see manufacturing process for Dunlop and Talalay).The trees are planted on certified organic earth that has been certified organic for 3 years prior to planting. The process of collecting the sap or milk to process the milk to packaging the finish latex cores is controlled and audited through a process to ensure no contamination with non-organic milk or ingredients during the entire manufacturing process. A mattress made from organic latex does not contain any chemicals, synthetics, pesticides, herbicides, or other man-made products. This is why Talalay Latex at present, cannot be classified or listed as organic. The Talalay process utilizes unspecified curing agents including ammonia, as commonly used to stabilize liquid rubber. Ammonia is among 1 of several chemicals that is not found USDA’s National Organic Program list of allowed chemicals. Click here, for the full list of allowable chemicals
100% Natural Dunlop or Talalay Latex: Although Talalay Latex cannot be listed as Organic according to the NOP, you will find it listed as natural or 100% natural. 100% natural latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree but does not contain any petroleum based additives for its final product. The process of making Talalay Latex however, cannot be certified as organic due to its use of chemicals that are used. This differs from Dunlop Latex, which can be manufactured without the use of these restricted chemical additives. 100% Natural latex does not carry the associated USDA agricultural certification of Organic as the manufacturing processes are different, according to the GOLS.
Synthetic and Blended Latex: Synthetic latex is made from petroleum based, man-made Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBR). During World War II, the shortage of natural rubber forced manufacturers to create a synthetic rubber for tires, belts, shoes, and numerous other products. To get a grasp on the demand of rubber, one report showed that in 1992, the United States manufactured over a billion pounds (454,000,000 kg) of synthetic rubber. Although synthetic latex is relatively stable, it is not nearly as durable or as resilient as its natural or organic counterparts. What makes matters more confusing, is that some manufacturers sell their blended latex products as natural latex.
In addition to synthetic latex being inferior to organic latex by means of resilience and durability, synthetic latex, being comprised of petrochemicals, will off-gas. While sleeping on a synthetic latex mattress, you are not only breathing in off-gassing chemicals, but your body is absorbing them through your skin. Further, petrochemicals do not deal well with moisture. As you sleep your body gives off moisture, which becomes trapped in the synthetic latex creating a breeding ground for mold, mildew and dust mites.