Our immune system does the majority of its repair work while we are asleep. This is the time for the body’s cells to regenerate, rejuvenate and detoxify. Conventional mattresses are full of toxic chemicals. The toxic substances they use in the manufacturing process are linked to allergies, asthma, respiratory problems, reproductive toxicity, skin irritations, cancer and other serous health issues.
Children can spend 8-16 hours in bed every day, with their face in close proximity to the mattress. During these hours they continuously breath in these toxic chemicals. They also love to jump and bounce on the bed and when they do this they release even more toxins from the mattress.
Here’s a list of the most toxic materials used in conventional mattresses:
- Formaldehyde (linked to asthma, allergies, and lung cancer)
- Polyurethane foam (petroleum-based material that emits VOC’s)
- Flame retardants
- Boric Acid (roach killer) a pesticide that the EPA classifies as Toxicity Category III for reactions, such as skin irritation
- Antimony: a metal that can be even more toxic than mercury
* According to the Child Product Safety Guide, children absorb 0.5 mg of antimony every night.
There can be up to two cups of these cocktail of toxins added to a conventional mattress. Horrifyingly, manufacturers are not required to list the type of fire retardants they use in their products. New mattresses smell toxic, they off-gas and release chemicals into the air. It is now believed that these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin, as they have been found in women’s breastmilk.
Toxic chemicals in mattresses pose even higher risk for infants because cot mattresses are covered with vinyl. Interestingly, the EPA has classified vinyl chloride as a human carcinogen but manufacturers of conventional mattresses still get away with covering cot mattresses with vinyl. Children’s rapidly developing bodies and faster metabolic processes make them more susceptible to toxins around them, such as mattress off-gassing.
Children’s health and sleep and wake cycle can be disrupted not only by toxins in their environment but also by exposures to electromotive force (EMF) in their bedroom. EMF exposures are linked a host of ailments and symptoms, such as allergies, tiredness upon awakening, heart palpitations, muscle pain and weakness, and daytime irritability as well as general weakening of the immune system.
In order to avoid electromagnetic disturbances in your child’s bedroom, you need to avoid two things: Metal bed frames and spring mattresses.
Metal bed frames can have residual magnetism and also spring mattresses can actually act as a giant antenna! When we sleep on a spring mattress in a metal bed the radiation envelops our bodies so that the maximum strength of the field develops 75 centimeters above the mattress in the middle of our bodies. When sleeping on the right side, the body’s left side will thereby be exposed to field strength about twice as strong as what the right side absorbs.
Bedroom Detox Solutions:
- Buy a chemical-free organic mattress that does not contain metal coils.
- Choose to buy from companies that you trust to use natural, toxin-free materials that won’t harm the environment or you.
- Manufacturers can call their mattress organic if it contains any organic components. Even if it’s just an organic cotton filling or organic cotton surface fabric. Mattresses that have organic cotton fillings may come with a vinyl covering, so these may be called organic mattresses, but because of the vinyl covering and chemical fire retardants, these mattresses are obviously not all toxin-free.
- Organic wool has natural fire-resistant properties and is a natural material that is used successfully in mattresses to pass the flammability tests.
- Organic cotton is very important, as cotton in one of the most heavily-sprayed crops. Always ask the manufacturer about the materials they used.
- There are companies that sell mattresses that are completely natural and toxin-free.
- Buy wooden frames and headboards