Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mattresses Free of Polybrominated Flame Retardants

I was searching these days for a new mattress. I wanted to find one that is not using polybrominated flame retardants and still not very expensive. After many reviews I ended up buying a Sealy Posturepedic mattress which is free of Teflon stain- and water-resistant treatment and uses the new fiber-based flame-retardant barriers. Other alternative would be to buy the ones from Ikea which contain alternative flame retardants. However, probably the safest ones are those made from organic cotton or organic wool and natural latex but they are quite expensive. Using an encasement made from organic cotton on your Sealy or Ikea mattress it will reduce more your exposure to VOCs and block allergenic dust mites.

The Polybrominated Flame Retardants are flame retardants found in mattresses, household products, fabrics, furniture, and electronics. They accumulate in the breast milk and are toxic to human health. The EU has banned the use of Penta- and OctaBDE since 2004 while in the US is heavily used especially in the polyurethane foams. In the State of California the sale of penta- and octa- PBDE and products containing them is banned since January 1, 2008. In 2007, the legislature of the state of Washington passed a bill banning the use of PBDEs and the state of Maine passed a bill phasing out the use of DecaBDE.

For a comprehensive review about the flame retardants follow this link: Brominated Flame Retardants: Cause for Concern?


brainskillet said...

"Using an encasement made from organic cotton on your Sealy or Ikea mattress it will reduce more your exposure to VOCs and block allergenic dust mites"

Are these just allergy/dust mite mattress covers or something specific to block VOCs?

I've only been able to find covers for dust mites and allergens--which seem like they would be about as effective as sheets when it comes to organic vapors.


Lucia said...

Hello brainskillet,
welcome and thanks for you comment.

Sincerely, I did not know that there are covers designed specifically to block VOCs; however, those claims would need to be tested somehow. But I think that if you cover your mattress with more than only the sheet will reduce the VOCs, although when you get a new mattress I think is better to just keep it in a separate room with windows open or outside (if you can) to get rid of most of the VOCs. Another thing I do, when I change the sheets, I take them from the mattress in the morning when I go at work and live the mattress without any cover on it and the windows open just to let it "breath" some air. I changed the Sealy mattress with a Naturepedic organic and I am still using a mattress pad; it makes it more softer to sleep on it anyway.


Kay said...

Hi Lucia,

Are you using an adult size Naturepedic? How do you like it? Is it firm/soft? I'm interested in one, but I'm unable to find one in a store that I can lay on to try out.


Lucia said...

Hi Kay,

yes I have a twin Naturepedic for my son and I love it; it is quite firm (which I prefer) and the nice part is that both sides of the mattress can be used (I think it became quite rare to find a mattress with two sides); you can rotate the mattress so it will last longer. I will definitely recommend it! On their website, Naturepedic has a list with the distributors and most of the time they have it in the shop so you can try it.

Allison Dinsmore, Certified Massage Therapist said...

Thanks for the mattress info, but I'm confused how airing out would really help. Wouldn't the mattress emit VOC's as long as the toxic substances and flame retardants were present?