Why Chemicals Are Ruining Your Sleep
For anyone with anything less than a degree in chemistry, researching fire retardants to learn which ones are safe can be tremendous headache. There are dozens of different chemicals used to comply with federal standards and nearly all be linked to some type of health concern when exposed.
While the wonders of science and technology have allowed for many advancements in our everyday lives, don’t be fooled by supposed technological breakthroughs in mattresses and furniture manufacturing. Many chemicals used as flame retardants in household products, including mattresses, by American manufacturers have been labeled as carcinogenic in Europe. What do Europeans know that we American's don't. Read this article on how many fire retardants are banned in Europe but labeled as safe in the U.S.A.
Open Flame Test
Did you know that fire safety laws for furniture and mattresses have had little to no reform since they were created in the 20th century. This is because most of these laws were made to combat household fires caused by cigarettes which was a big problem 30 years ago. The law required furniture to withstand an open flame test to prove that the product will not burn. In order to pass this test, manufacturers used different chemical mixtures, enough chemicals to resist flame for several minutes! These chemical compounds when tested on animals alone are found to be adversely toxic and responsible for polluting our environment. Not only are these chemicals entering our bodies when we consume food, breath, and even rub our eyes, but these carcinogens are stored in our cells where they interact with our organ systems causing at minumum, discomfort.
Fire Retardants Linked To Health Risks
Believe it or not one of the most outspoken groups advocating the exclusion of fire retardants are firefighters! They are calling for stricter regulations on flame retardants and other toxic chemicals they say are causing cancer and other diseases among their ranks.
This has been a problem in the history of flame retardants for many years. The United States banned the use of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in flame retardants in 1977, linking the exposure of these chemical compounds in animals to a number of health problems.
Once in 2004 and again in 2008, a variety of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were banned in Europe by the EU. Chemicals such as arsenic and antimony are used as a flame retardant and highly toxic phosphorous plasticizer is used in many mattress covers. Anything containing PVC or Polyvinyl chloride (a commonly sold plastic) will have these compounds which are made with synthesized substances found to cause cancer. Even with this being true, the countless health issues linked to exposure to flame retardants are still not enough for these harmful chemicals to be completely banned.
Bromine, a toxic halogen in flame retardants, binds to iodine receptors and inhibits your body's natural ability to use and regulate iodine. Some animal studies have shown that even low levels of flame retardant exposure reduced thyroid hormone production and signaling.
Asthma and Respiratory
Be wary of any smells coming from your furniture or mattresses, it could be toxic chemicals airing out of the fabric. The addition of antimony in flame retardant compounds is a cause for concern if you have respiratory related illness. Offgassing in mattresses can occur within the first year of use and can cause significant shortness of breath with prolonged exposure
Formaldehyde and polyurethane emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that irritate the eyes as well as the skin and lungs. can make users susceptible to swelling of the eyes, redness, itching, and blistering.
Cotton pesticides and toxic flame-retardant chemicals that are linked to cancer and nervous system disorders can irritate sensitive skin. Sleeping on memory foam is known to develop a skin condition called bromine dermatitis (symptoms resemble eczema.) Bromine used prior to 2005 could be ruining your skin.
Alternative Options At An Even Better Price
No matter what your comfort preference is, The Futon Shop has everything you need to help combat chemical interference from sleep. If you want to upgrade your mattress or simply find a healthier, chemical free alternative, there has never been a better time than now. Flame retardant free memory foams can be made from soybean oil to greatly reduce the presence of petrochemicals. Additionally, any mattress with wool has natural fire protection so there is no need for chemicals!
No matter what your comfort level we have a long lasting solution that stands the test of time without the use of chemicals. Our Teddy Bear Wool Mattress is a wonderful chemical free option for those desiring soft comfort. For those needing medium firm support, we suggest trying our Natural Dunlop Latex Mattresses. Our latex is 100% chemical free rubber tree sap without any additives or fire retardants! The firmest support on the market for mattresses is chemical free coconut coir, a natural material made by fusing natural coconut husk rope and pure organic latex. At The Futon Shop, a coconut and latex mattress can be customized to your specific comfort level ranging from soft, to medium, to extra firm there's. There is no other comparison for longevity and chemical free durability.