Why is organic safer?
Organic means no fire-retardant chemicals and no synthetically processed materials that have been soaked in bleach or harsh chemicals.
The Dangers of Chemicals
Aside from having your child inhale the toxic fumes straight off the mattress and having the risk of exposing them to respiratory tract inflammation and many other allergy and health concerns, these toxins create chemical emissions that get stronger with time. These harmful off-gases permeate throughout the room, causing further contamination to our environment. Various childhood disorders have been directly linked to those chemicals that children have been exposed to from birth.
In 1996, a study was performed by Dr. T. James Sprott, a New Zealand chemist and forensic scientist, based on the research of British scientist Barry Richardson. They studied 200 mattresses that were used by babies who died of SIDS. Each and every mattress contained chemicals, with 95% of the mattresses used by previous babies. He concluded that the prime cause of SIDS was due to babies absorbing the noxious fumes that were emanating from mattresses and subsequently dying from accidental poisoning. These fumes were a byproduct of the substances and chemicals present in the mattresses, and the longer the mattresses were in use, the stronger the fumes became.
Dr. Sprott’s study also demonstrated that the “Back to Sleep” program, in which babies were put to sleep on their backs instead of their stomachs, was successful due to the fact that the baby’s nose was no longer positioned directly over the fumes. These gas vapors irritate the baby’s senses, causing allergies, exacerbating asthma, and triggering SIDS. Many chemically soaked, synthetic mattresses also contain formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen, along with other chemicals that promote flame retardancy. “Just two years ago, the government actually increased the minimum level of flame retardants so that a mattress no longer has to be what used to be called cigarette-burn proof. They now have to be torch proof,” said Paige Mattson, owner of Blue Ridge Eco Shop in Charlottesville. This means that there is an increased need for naturally derived and non-toxic fire retardants that are safe for children.
Instead of eliminating the synthetic and highly flammable materials, mattresses are drenched with toxic fire retardants. Fire retardants can have a permanent effect on the body. They’ve been proven to slow brain development in rodents and can also cause reproductive problems. These chemicals are persistent; they don’t break down. They remain active in our air, water, and soil, and once absorbed by our bodies, make themselves at home in our fatty tissues.
Other chemicals and materials, such as formaldehyde, polyurethane, pesticides, and herbicides, used in the production of the mattresses are just as dangerous. Formaldehyde irritates the skin, eyes, nose, and throat and can cause cancer as well. People with asthma are particularly sensitive to formaldehyde particles in the air. Polyurethane is not a natural product. It is produced through the combination of harsh and powerful chemicals and has been known to increase irritation and decrease airflow in rodents. Pesticides and herbicides were created with a lethal purpose: to kill pests, insects, and weeds. Eaten or merely inhaled, they can actually alter our DNA and thereby cause cancer. They can also trigger ADD, mental illnesses, behavioral problems, and autoimmune disorders, as well as damage the central nervous systems.