Mattress Off Gassing
Off-gassing or out-gassing refers to the release of particles from an item into the air. In most references, these floating particles in the air are from chemicals, called volatile organic compounds, or VOC's . The VOC's dangerous to your health are Anthropogenic (a fancy term for man-made or caused by humans) and concentrate indoors from furniture and mattresses, carpet padding, paint and the like. Incidental contact with these VOC's, although irritating, is not dangerous. It is the accumulation over time of toxic VOC's absorbed into the body that cause disease and illness, especially in children. Off gassing from polyurethane foam, releases many harmful chemicals. The Petroleum based chemicals used in making foam are polymers and urethane, which contains an Isocyanate compound. The Isocyanate compound is one of the main culprits that causes illness, asthma and other diseases. Memory foam mattresses use an Isocyanate called TDI (Toluene Di-Isocyanate), which has a strong odor and over time seeps through a mattress and into the air. These chemicals in mattresses releases hydrocarbons that evaporate into the air we breath throughout a mattress' lifetime. These hydrocarbons are powerful carcinogenic chemicals, attacking and severely damaging the immune and nervous systems of adults and children. United States Department of Labor, claims that the health effects of an Isocyanate exposure include irritation to skin, mucous membranes, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. An alternative to these foam mattresses are mattresses made with Soyfoam. Soybean oil replacing up to 30% of the harmful petro chemicals in traditional foam mattresses.
Sources of toxic VOC's exist in paints, disinfectants, air fresheners, dry-cleaned clothing, wood varnishes, pesticides, any furniture or mattresses that has foam, memory foam or memory gels, permanent markers, copiers and printers. Furniture, wood products, carpets and flooring, cabinets, sofas and bedroom furniture are what makes a home a home. It is unfortunate that for the most part, these items that provide comfort are also potentially polluting our homes. The cumulative effect of these VOC's causes toxins to get stuck FOREVER in our bodies. It is like a polluted lake; the pollutants are almost impossible to remove once inside a lake. We cannot remove all VOC's in our homes, but we can try our best to purchase products that use less of these chemicals or none of them at all. Wood furniture that is unfinished or natural oil finishes is one option. Mattresses and sofa’s made with organic materials also help eliminate some of the toxic VOC's in your home. You can also purchase plants that absorb these VOC's and give off oxygen.
Bedroom Furniture is where you rest your body and lay your head after a long day. It is a place of solace and it is a safe place to close your eyes and let it all go. It is unfortunate that in many materials such as synthetic latex, foam, and memory foam to name a few, have hidden dangers that contain a laundry list of dangerous toxins. In many mattresses, most couches and sofa beds sold today, polyurethane (PU) foam is a major component. These PU foams emit chemicals as an inherent trait of their production. Many customers come into our Futon Shops asking about an natural option. There are many reasons why The Futon Shop suggests using either no foam in bedroom furniture or alternatively, using soy foam products that replace some of these toxic chemicals with vegetable based oils.
Click to check out some Soy Memory Foam Mattresses.
Click to discover why mattresses sometimes have a odor.
Another great read with more info on what is off gassing.
Click to read about (VOC's) Volatile Organic Compounds.
Click here to learn about flame retardants.
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