Main Features of Chemical Free Mattresses
A chemical free mattress is exactly that. It is a mattress made from all natural ingredients, and not man-made chemicals. Natural fibers must to grown on the earth. Cotton, Wool, (animal hair) Coconut Coir, Natural Latex and some plant-based PLA fibers can be considered natural and even better Organic. The difference between Natural and Organic is the certification of organic products can be sourced and documented by a third party source, such as GOLS, GOTS, USDA, or the CONTROL UNION. Over 85% of all Furniture and Mattresses sold are full of petroleum based chemicals in the form of polyurethane foam. In addition to the polyurethane, many mattresses and sofa beds contain chemical flame retardants. So less than 15% of all mattresses are chemical free, and less than 2% of all sofa and sofa beds are chemical free.
Large mattress retailers purchase wholesale from mattress manufacturers around the USA or import from other countries with little knowledge or control of what hidden dangers they are selling to vulnerable consumers. In return, consumers are bringing harmful toxins into their homes and endangering their families. More recently, customer's have desired more natural, chemical free options. Many of these customer's lose hope as they do not know where to begin looking for more healthy options. Part of the problem is that many manufacturers and retailers list their mattresses as healthy or organic, but in reality, only a portion of their mattress may be natural or organic. One example is a mattress company that lists their mattress as a ten inch organic latex mattress. Upon further inspection, it is found that only 1 inch of this mattress is organic (or maybe not) and the remaining nine inches is polyurethane foam. This is clearly misleading consumers as to their product. Another common misconception is regarding the two main types of latex, Dunlop Latex and Talalay Latex. At present, both of these types of latex may be listed as natural, but only one can be offered as organic. The process by which Talalay Latex is made prevents it from being listed as Organic. Unfortunately, chemicals used in the manufacturing process of Talalay Latex prevent the finished product from being able to be certified organic. Even though the product is listed as "Natural" it may not in all reality be chemical free.
How do you find a truly chemical free mattress?
It is not as difficult to locate a chemical free mattress once you know what you are looking for. The first step is to understand what makes a toxic and non-toxic chemical-free mattress. Toxicity can be caused by any unnatural chemical in our environment. The first example are mattresses containing polyurethane foam. These polyurethane foams include Visco-elastic foam commonly known as memory-foam and gel foam, High Resilience foam, and microcellular foam. Are all composed of petroleum based chemicals that are byproducts of refining gasoline. Chemical companies purchase the byproducts from gasoline companies instead of disposing them. Even polyurethane foams made from plant based polyols are toxic, as they still include harmful chemicals. These foams deteriorate from heat, sunlight and age and the chemical components can become airborne. Have you ever looked under your bed or sofa and seen all the dust? It is not only from the air, it is from the mattress or furniture that you own.
In addition to chemicals that make up the components used in mattresses, chemical additives are used to make furniture flame retardant. These flame retardant chemicals can be found not only in your mattress or sofa, they can also be in your carpet, your curtains, and your walls insulation. We absorb these toxic ingredients through our nose, mouth and pores and once they penetrate your body, the chemicals pollute our bodies. These chemicals disrupt our natural ability to fight disease and in some cases can cause fatal illnesses. Children are particularly vulnerable as their bodies are growing and developing every minute of every day. In order to avoid these chemical flame retardants when you are looking to replace your existing mattress, ask the sales associate if a particular mattress contains flame retardants and if so, ask what it is.
If they cannot tell you what it is, your best bet is to shop elsewhere. Some mattress manufacturers will custom make a mattress for you without any chemical flame retardants with a prescription from a healthcare provider. The safest bet however is to purchase a mattress that uses a natural flame retardant, such as wool. Mattresses that use wool as a flame barrier are not only hypoallergenic, mold and dust mite resistant, but also do not contain chemical flame retardants.
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