“If you sleep on a conventional mattress (like most people do), you’re spending a third of your life lying on toxic chemicals. If this little-known fact has you tossing and turning, read on. Since the 1960s, mattresses have been made of polyurethane foam, a material derived from petroleum that emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The popular memory foam mattresses are made from this material. But VOCs are only part of the cocktail of chemicals in foam mattresses. Required to be flame-resistant, foam mattresses are imbued with flame-retardant chemicals that can cause cancer and nervous-system disorders. Walt Bader, a sufferer of a condition called multiple chemical sensitivity and the author of “The Toxic Bedroom,” had several mattresses analyzed by a lab in Atlanta in 2005. One memory foam model was found to emit 61 chemicals. The next year, he published the first definitive list of chemicals outgassing from memory foam mattresses. “Nine of these chemicals are recognized as carcinogens by just about every significant health organization in the world,” Bader said on his website. “And do you know what has happened? Nothing.” The outgassing is not only nefarious to people who suffer from respiratory issues, but some of the chemicals are also known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. As more people become educated about what they’re sleeping on, they are turning to organic mattresses and bedding in greater numbers. ….Organic mattresses, made of natural materials such as wool, cotton, and rubber latex, present an alternative to conventional mattresses and are becoming increasingly popular. Wool is a natural fire retardant, and is excellent for regulating temperature and air circulation—a boon for anyone suffering from night sweats. The natural materials are also resistant to dust mites, which are a trigger for asthma and allergies.”
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