New kinds of mattresses have been circulating on the sleep market, with manufacturers promising a better, fuller night’s rest with fewer body aches. Many of these promises come into fruition once a customer makes a purchase. However, while these new, improved mattress may create an enhanced night of sleep, they may also put severe dents into the health of the sleeper. What goes into some of these mattresses? What can this concoction of synthetic materials cause on the health horizon? Should you be having second thoughts about that new mattress that makes you feel like you are sleeping on air?
If you read our articles ‘How Your Sleep Habits Affect Your Health‘ and ‘How Lack of Sleep Lacks Life,’ then you understand the importance of getting plenty of sleep on a day-to-day basis. Many factors can affect your quality of sleep, from your sleep hygiene, to your stress levels, to your very mattress. Thus, ensuring your mattress fully supports your body for proper sleep facilitation is highly important when selecting your bedding. However, many of these fancy new designs for foam toppers, form-fitting mattresses, and other types of bedwear may contain toxic substances that diminish your quality of health over long periods of exposure. Since sleeping can take up to nine hours out of your day, you may want to rethink the new trend of mattresses.
Ever since the 1960s, the majority of the most popular, common mattresses have been made from primarily polyurethane foam, along with a few other chemical compounds. These mattresses tend to emit a number of different volatile compounds that often absorb into our bodies through the natural process of osmosis. This occurs through our bodies making physical contact with the mattress itself, as we breathe in the often undetectable fumes. Our pores may also take in some of the fumes, allowing them to flow through our bloodstream and other bodily fluids. One study even showed that off-gassing from a mattress ingredients has also caused respiratory toxicity in mice. What chemicals cause these unhealthy reactions?
Polyurethanefoam is one of the primary substances used to create many mattresses and pillows available on the market. From mattresses, to mattress toppers, these chemicals may get into the sleeper’s body with ease. It is a substance based in petroleum that may contain or offshoot these other chemicals listed and described below. Polyurethane is also commonly used as a protective coating on wood surfaces such as floors and furniture. The catalytic blend used to make polyurethanes can cause respiratory irritation that affects the nose, throat, and lungs. It also contributes to eye and skin sensitivities, and increases the likelihood of allergic reactions. In fact, it contributes to the growing numbers of people struggling from asthma, from occupational hazards to young children exposed to the foam through furniture.
Naphthaleneis a common ingredient in mothballs registered as a pesticide in the United States of America. Thus, many people sleep directly on a pesticide, which offshoots toxic vapors from its solid form. Even simply exposing your skin and body to this chemical through touch can facilitate an anemic condition Naphthalene can cause symptoms such as nausea, light-headedness, and vomiting. The World Health Organization also labeled it as a potential carcinogen, and has shown carcinogenic effects during studies on animals. Thus, many individuals experience an unfortunate, nightly exposure to a pesticide for a number of hours at a time.
Benzenealso comes from sources such as automobile exhaust and cigarette smoke. It mainly affects tissues and blood, especially when inhaled or absorbed through the skin. It affects the processes of the bone marrow, which helps to produce healthy blood cells. It breaks down the immune system, causing the body to become more susceptible to developing both chronic and temporary illnesses, or other autoimmune conditions. Plus, the longer a person’s exposure to this chemical lasts, the more likely a person is to develop leukemia. It also contributes to anemia, which is the result of a reduced blood cell count.
Formaldehydecommonly occurs in products such as cigarettes, fertilizer, paints, and insulation. Both the Department of Health and Human Services and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have determined that formaldehyde is a human carcinogen. It damages important tissues in the respiratory system, causing irritation for the nose and lungs. Continuous exposure to this chemical can result in throat or nose cancer in humans. When children experience regular exposure to formaldehyde, they may develop asthma as a result. It can cause symptoms such as coughing or itching, stinging eyes. If your mattress is made from polyurethane, you may well receive such exposure from formaldehyde.
Since many mattresses are made from a substance that catches fire extremely easily, while off-shooting toxic chemicals and gases as you sleep, now is a better time than ever to look into switching up your mattress game. No one wants to sleep on a bed of carcinogenic, damaging chemicals that may or may not be used as fertilizers or for other industrial purposes. Luckily, there are some options to make a selection from for a new, organic mattress. Whether you are looking to make a purchase, searching for a safe, natural mattress cover to hinder some of these chemicals, or you want to make your own, face naturals can show you the resources you need, no matter what route you chose to take.
You may never want to sleep again, after reading the information we just provided. However, all you need is either a new mattress, trustworthy mattress cover, or some know-how on creating your own mattress free of chemicals. Numerous companies are in the business of offering quality organic mattresses that you can make a selection from. Not only will you be able to sleep better, but you can also avoid coming into contact with these hazardous chemicals listed above. Organic mattresses are made from 100% organic cotton, and do not contain the potentially hazardous materials that most conventional mattresses contain. While they may cost a little more than the average mattress, you will rest better knowing your body is not exposed to these toxins. Plus, if you cannot afford a new, organic mattress, then you can either find a covering that keeps off gassing at a minimum, or just make your own.
A few prominent companies that carry organically made mattresses, such as Naturepedic, Lifekind, and Organicpedic. Naturepedic has small, one-person mattresses starting as low as $649.00 and going on into the thousands. Lifekind has some specials that can bring the original price from the thousands down to the hundreds, depending on what size mattress you need. Meantime, Organicpedic has products certified as organic by Oregon Tilth and the Global Organic Textile Standard. Finding out if a mattress brand bears at least one organic certification as well as GOTS may provide one of the best ways to ensure that your mattress selection is made from quality, nontoxic ingredients, since many companies will use terms like ‘nontoxic,’ ‘chemical-free,’ or ‘natural’ as a means of making more money on phony mattresses.
However, as wonderful as a brand, new, organic mattress sounds, you may not be able to afford a new one just yet. Thus, another option you may want to consider for protection is purchasing a mattress cover. This will cover your current mattress with a protective layer that could help reduce your exposure to the aforementioned chemicals. The Green Sleep 2-Layer Quilted Mattress Cover is made from purely organic fibers, and has multiple sizes to cover different kinds of beds. While this may not completely eliminate your exposure to the toxins in your mattress, it will still greatly decrease your exposure on a nightly basis.
Alternatively, if you cannot afford a new, organic mattress or mattress cover, you can simply make one. Many different instructions and methods for creating your own mattress have been posted on the internet, along with original ideas for stitching, stuffing, and patterns. You may also extend this practice to your pillows as well. The upside of making your mattress extends beyond saving some dollars and preserving your health. You can also personalize it in a number of different ways, and make the process a colorful experience that the whole family will have a chance to get involved in. Find a forum or a set of instructions, and experiment with your options to figure out the perfect, homemade, organic mattress!
Different options for stuffing include materials such as natural latex, wool, kapok, organic cotton, or buckwheat. These materials are usually environmentally friendly and will not harm your health. Ask fabric and stuffing wholesalers about bulk prices for stuffings, in case ordering the amount you need can earn you a discount. If you opt for natural latex, inquiring the wholesaler about how it is made may prove beneficial in ensuring you are not making a purchase from a greenwasher. Then, select a mattress cover or wrap that suits your needs. Your options include a knit pattern or cotton material. Often, you can design them in such a way that you can remove them for washing. Once you have stitched up the cover, you have your own homemade mattress. While the process is time-consuming, it is fairly simple, and will prove beneficial in eliminating toxic synthetic chemicals from your healthy lifestyle.
Manufacturers are looking out for their ability to make money, not the health of your family and community. This is why we write to inform our readers and clients about the collection of carcinogenic chemicals used to create your favorite products, all for the sake of saving an extra dime or two. Whether you want to know about mattresses, foods, or skincare products, we can give you the lowdown on consumer products that can cause hiccups in your health. Education will provide you with the tools you need to protect your household. Comment below to share the knowledge about great organic mattress companies, mattress making methods, and other ways to avoid the chemicals commonly found in today’s popular mattresses.
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