When parents put their babies down to sleep, they expect that their children are sleeping safe and sound. Unfortunately, a major study conducted by the University of Texas in Austin found that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, what they did find is that most crib mattresses are a significant source of chemicals in an infant's environment. The researchers studied samples of polyurethane foam and polyester foam padding from 20 new and old crib mattresses, the same type of foam padding often found in mainstream adult mattresses as well.
“The researchers found:
New crib mattresses release about four times as many VOCs as old crib mattresses.
Body heat increases emissions.
Chemical emissions are strongest in the sleeping infant's immediate breathing zone.”
In a day and age where SIDS is prevalent and the cause is still unknown, it’s important to consider that their respiratory system, especially in newborns, is still developing and that breathing in harmful chemicals known to cause respiratory distress can play a roll in infant death. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) have both short term and long term side effects, including “eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination and nausea, damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system, some organics can cause cancer in animals, some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans”(EPA). The researchers in the University of Texas study “identified more than 30 VOCs in the mattresses, including phenol, neodecanoic acid and linalool. The most abundant chemicals identified in the crib mattress foam, such as limonene (a chemical that gives products a lemon scent), are routinely found in many cleaning and consumer products”(UT News). “Additionally, because infants inhale significantly higher air volume per body weight than adults and sleep a longer time, they experience about 10 times as much inhalation exposure as adults when exposed to the same level of VOCs, the researchers said”(UT News). Not only are harmful chemicals found in the foams used, but in the glues, vinyl and chemical fire retardants as well. The combination of these chemicals combined pose serious risks. This is why here at My Green Mattress, we've constructed a crib mattress using materials that contain no toxins and no VOCs. We believe that when parents put their babies down to sleep, that they shouldn’t have to think twice about the safety and health of their child. Our Emily Natural Crib Mattress is made from GOTS certified organic cotton and Oeko-Tek certified natural wool. Wool is a natural flame retardant, so our mattresses meets all standards for fire safety without the use of harmful chemicals. Works Cited Crib Mattresses Emit High Rates of Potentially Harmful Chemicals, Cockrell School Engineers Find, UT NewsVolatile Organic Compounds' Impact on Indoor Air Quality, Environmental Protection Agency