Are There Fire Retardants In My Mattress?
Flame retardants are a requirement for mattresses that has hurt our families and land for decades. It all started in 1976, the year Suzanne Diamond started handcrafting her own natural mattresses and futons. The Fire Prevention and Control Act were created in 1974, to oversee fire safety and issue in the US. In 1976 the Federal Fire Marshall, or Fire Commissioner requested cigarette company to invent a cigarette that would self-extinguish, as many people for falling asleep smoking cigarettes and starting needless fires. Phillip Morris was a large contributor to the United States Tobacco Industry and could not invent a cigarette that self-extinguished, tasted good for a price they thought they could sell the public. So the United States Government made a new law, and let Big Tobacco off the hook. From that day forward all mattresses had to pass a flammability standard. The test in 1976 –the early 1990’s was to take 18 PAL MALL Cigarette’s, (it had to be PAL MALL by PHILIP MORRIS). These cigarettes were required because it contains chemicals to make to them burn faster so people would smoke more cigarettes, therefore a good testing tool.
So mattress manufactures set up burn rooms and send mattresses out for clinical tests to ensure their mattresses would not catch on fire when a burning cigarette was dropped on the mattress. This was the beginning of fire retardants being used to manufacture mattresses and futons in the United States. Are you getting mad yet? Wait there is more. Around the same time California decided to make the rule even harsher. Instead of burning 18 Pal Mall cigarettes on the face and sides of the mattress, California new law Ca-117 said every ingredient inside you mattress must be fire resistant. So because most mattresses are made from polyurethane foams, memory foam and gels made from bi-products of refining gasoline and are extremely flammable the only answer to this new law was to fill the foam with fire retardants so it would pass the tests.
What this horrible and unfair law has done to our land, water supply, children and our love ones health can never be recovered. Fire retardants are toxic chemicals, that pollute our land, water and bodies and will be with us for our entire lifetime and longer. Are you mad yet, I hope so I have been mad for 40 years. The Futon Shop got around the law by asking their customer to ask their Doctors for a prescription for a fire retardant free mattress or futon. We actual have boxes and boxes and prescriptions from our customers dating back to the early 1980’s.
Today the California laws have been updated to 117-2013, a barrier test only on the outside of a sofa and dropped the test for mattresses. The Federal government changed the laws from a Pal Mall cigarette test to a bunsen burner test on the surface of the mattress or futon.The reason the law changed is the Federal Fire Marshal determined that it was no longer cigarettes that was the problem but children playing with lighters. Therefore a bunsen burner (lighter) test was developed. But the fact is, any mattress, sofa oar sofa bed manufactured before 2013 is probably full of fire retardants. Since most people keep their mattresses futons and furniture around for over 10 years the likelihood that your mattress is toxic is very high. Wool is now used by most mattress and futon manufacturers as the barrier fabric to keep a mattress or futon from burning. It is still a ridiculous law and the toxic fumes, from petro-chemical foam filled mattress is deadly in a fire. Most people die from the smoke, not the fire in a home fire situation.
Flame Retardants can be extremely harmful to one’s health. So it is best to reduce the exposure to these chemicals whenever possible. One such place you want to make sure this is the case is your mattress. This is where you spend the biggest portion of your life. You do not want it to be filled with harmful chemicals that can lead to a hospital visit somewhere down the road. Typically in past it has been hard to guarantee the ingredients used in the creation of your mattress because most if not all mattress production is done over seas and then imported. No one can guarantee the use of organic ingredients done in another country with different laws. If you are not sure where your mattress was manufactured chances are it was manufactured over seas and DOES contain fire retardants. The key is to find an American Company that manufactures their products on American soil and is eco conscious. One such company is The Futon Shop. Not only does The Futon Shop manufacture all their products on American soil in San Francisco California but they try to avoid the use of flame retardants whenever possible. They prefer to use the natural fire retardant Virgin Wool as a barrier fabric whenever possible. Feel free to contact them at 1800-44-FUTON to find a perfect mattress without fire retardants.
WE all hope that our government is making laws to protect us, but the reality is quite different. This is why we must be mind full on what we buy and whom we buy it from, if we want to make the world a healthier place for our children and our children's' children.
• Click to learn more about chemical free mattresses. (all are fire retardant free)
• Click here to read how you can obtain a doctors note to avoid all fire retardants including Borate.
• Click here to read more about fire retardants.
• Click here to read more about wool the natural flame retardant.
• Click here discover what is off gassing.