So are memory foam mattresses toxic? Are chemicals and VOC’s found in mattresses safe?
We at Essentia make organic foam, so we’re privy to a lot of what goes into foam mattresses, the good and the bad.
All foams, natural or synthetic, have chemical contents. That's just the reality of making foam. Natural foam is obviously much cleaner, and uses minimal components but some stabilizers are necessary to create a durable foam.
Essentia is a GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic facility. This means Essentia goes through rigorous audits and sets his standards in order to manufacture organic finished goods.
Our Beyond Latex slow response organic latex foam is made with >95% certified organic latex. This means we are using minimal amounts of stabilizers in the making of our foam for some of the purest latex foams you can sleep on. Our production process follows a globally recognized standard for organically grown latex, and certifies a clear path from farmer to factory ensuring organic processing and manufacturing.
This means if you are looking for an organic latex, organic memory foam, or a more natural memory foam you've come to the right place.
By-the-way, you're not alone with your concerns to want to avoid chemicals. Today almost every item in you home must be treated with a flame retardant, but there are healthier ways of achieving this safety standard.
Fire retardants in mattresses, couches and kids pajamas explains Senator Durbin.
VOC's (volatile organic compounds) can now be found in nearly all common household products; from carpets to microwaves, paints, couches... including mattresses according to the EPA.
With chemicals and pesticides now being found in umbilical cord blood, chemicals are becoming a concern for many...and rightly so.
Are mattresses safe? Really safe? Safe for Kids, Adults...Dogs?
The Problem with Most Memory Foam Mattresses
As we mentioned earlier, mattress manufacturers aren't always required to provide full transparency about the materials in their products. While you'll often find information about the inner filling, like polyurethane foam, listed on the tag, there's usually no obligation to disclose the specific flame retardants used.
This lack of transparency can leave consumers uncertain about what's inside their mattresses. What's more, some of these undisclosed components could potentially be harmful to both our health and the environment. Let's break it down:
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Many mattresses with polyurethane foam can emit volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, sometimes for extended periods. Exposure to certain VOCs may lead to respiratory irritation, trigger asthma symptoms, and even increase the long-term risk of cancer. Even mattresses labeled as "memory foam" typically contain polyurethane foam, which emits VOCs.
Undisclosed Fragrances: Mattresses often release "fragrance," a mix of thousands of chemicals used to mask odors from production. However, these added fragrances can cause allergic reactions and sometimes contain hormone-disrupting phthalates.
Flame Retardants: Some states like California, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Vermont, and Washington have started banning certain types and levels of chemical flame retardants due to potential harm to reproductive and nervous systems. However, mattresses treated with harmful flame retardants, like antimony (a cancer-causing heavy metal), are still available in many places. Unlike VOCs, flame retardants can't be easily removed from a product; they leach slowly over time, posing a more persistent problem.
Fiberglass: In some cases, fiberglass is used as a flame retardant. Exposure to fiberglass could lead to rashes, respiratory irritation, and even property damage. California is the first state to take the steps to ban fiberglass from mattresses and upholstered furniture, as well as prohibiting the use of fiberglass in repairing or reupholstering these items.
PVC or Vinyl: These materials are used in mattress protectors and crib mattress covers. PVC can contain phthalates and additives, emitting dangerous VOCs. Vinyl also contains phthalates, which can disrupt the hormone system and lead to asthma.