Why sleeping in your bed may be more dangerous than you ever thought possible.
Have you ever thought you could we be harming ourselves and our families by buying a normal mattress? That seems strange, how could a mattress harm you?
Have you ever thought you could we be harming ourselves and our families by buying a normal mattress? That seems strange, how could a mattress harm you? Regular mattresses are made up of Polyurethane Foam a petroleum based product and then chemicals are added to protect them from fire. In the U.S. as of 2007, mattresses must have enough flame retardant to withstand a 2 foot wide blow torch open flame for 70 seconds according to Federal Regulation 16 CFR 1632 and 1633 http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/CFR-2012-title16-....
Why Do We Have This Law?
Some house fires originate from mattresses and 90% of those are caused by cigarettes. According to a study by the National Fire Protection Agency cooking equipment was the leading cause of home structure fires and fire injuries. Smoking materials were the leading cause of home fire deaths. 1/4 of those fire deaths originated in the bedroom and 3 out of 5 were in homes with no smoke alarm. Also, older adults are the most likely to be killed in a home fire when compared with other age groups. www.nfpa.org Now that we know what increases our risk of a home fire originating from the mattress, we can do things to greatly lower that without the chemicals and if there is a fire having a smoke alarm is another completely safe tool to protect us as well.
What Is The Big Deal With The Chemicals?
Polyurethane Foam is what most mattresses are made of and it is a petroleum based product. Aside from being extremely flammable, Polyurethane Foam has a “flashover” which means it burns with such intense heat that it creates fires in surrounding combustable products. Aside with being so dangerous with fire, Polyurethane Foam is toxic in itself. Prolonged exposure to petroleum based products is know to affect the immune and nervous systems and can cause illnesses like cancer, autoimmune weaknesses, neurological disorders, asthma and allergies, infertility problems, miscarriage, and childhood behavioral disorders.
Now lets get back to the other chemicals, the flame retardants, since they can’t use PBDE’s, they have to do something else. Some of the chemicals used are Boric Acid, Antimony and Vinylidene Chloride, Decabromodiphenyl (Bromine flame retardant) Bromine, and Formaldehyde. The material data sheets on these chemicals has more details on these chemicals but it includes things like problems in developing fetus’s and testicular, heart, liver, lung and skin problems, and cancer. Here are some links where you can find more details about the chemicals: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/iris2/atoz.cfm.
I don't know about you but I'd rather not be breathing up all that crud for 8 hours a day.
So, What Do We Do?
Fortunately, there are other options. Mattresses can be made with natural materials like cotton, natural latex and wool. Wool is used as a flame retardant or you can get a prescription from a doctor to get a mattress without the chemical flame retardant.
All of the beds in our house are custom made beds without all the flame retardants and petroleum based products. If you would like to be able to get a bed like this all you need is a doctors prescription and a company that is willing to make you one, which I know of a great one. Come to think of it, I should get some sort of commission from them. I send a lot of patients to them and all I get is a lousy cake that I can't even eat? Hmmmm!
Anyway, give me a call if you are in the market for a new bed and want to avoid all those nasty chemicals. As long as you don't plan on falling asleep while smoking in bed.
Dr. Craig Mortensen
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