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Are There Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) In Your Mattress?

What Are VOCs?

Volatile organic compounds are chemicals that are used, in the manufacturing process, of many items found in our homes. The term “volatile” means that these are chemicals that can easily get into the air that you breathe each day and end up inside of your body. “Organic” means that they are carbon-based.

U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies have discovered that VOCs are widely found indoors. Indoor levels can be 2 to as many as 1,000 times higher than outdoor VOCs. There may be between 50 to 100 types of VOCs present, in the air, inside of your home, right now. You might be able to smell some of these. Others will not be easily detected.

Health Effects of VOC Exposure

The potential negative health effects from inhaling a chemical is dependent upon how long it’s been in the air, how regularly you breathe it in, and how much of the chemical is present around you. Breathing in low levels of VOCs for protracted time periods could increase your risk of getting ill. Studies suggest that VOC exposure can worsen asthma symptoms, and it is bad for people who are sensitive to chemicals.

Keep in mind that VOCs refer to a group of chemicals. Each chemical has its own potential to cause different health effects as well as its own toxicity level.

Some VOCs are irritants, and can give you symptoms such as:

Short-term or acute exposure

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Throat, eye and nose irritation
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Worsening of asthma symptoms

Long-term exposure

  • Central nervous system damage
  • Cancer
  • Kidney and liver damage

Long-term exposure to some VOCs could lead to cancer and other chronic diseases. Some VOCs are toxic in high concentrations.

Common VOCs that could be present in your home include:

  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers. These are flame retardants that have a connection to hormonal changes and reduced fertility. They also have connections to hyperactivity, lower birth weight, and lower IQ in children.
  • Formaldehyde is a preservative that’s also used as a glue in mattresses. This chemical can irritate your skin, nose, and throat. It presents an increased risk for wheezing and coughing.
  • Polyols bind polyurethane foams and create bulk. Some polyols come from natural sources such as soybeans and they are mixed with other chemicals. However, most come from petroleum. Benzenes is a known carcinogen that occurs naturally in petroleum.
  • Toluene diisocyanates. These make foam more flexible. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) view these as a potential carcinogen.

Ways of Chemical Exposure

There are three main ways you can suffer from chemical exposure:

  1. Inhalation
  2. Ingestion
  3. Dermal absorption.

Inhalations involve breathing in VOCs in the air your breathe. Ingestion happens when chemical materials come into contact with your mouth, and dermal absorption is when they come into contact with your skin.

Is There a Safe Level of VOCs?

It’s a good idea to limit your exposure to materials and products that contain VOCs, to protect your health. If you’re worried about the level of VOCs in your mattress, try buying an organic latex mattress instead. If you feel that VOCs are making you sick, try reducing their levels in your home. If your symptoms persist, have a chat with your doctor to rule out any other potentially serious medical conditions that could have similar symptoms.

Who is at Risk From VOC Exposure?

Everyone who is exposed to VOCs is at risk of inhaling, ingesting or absorbing them. Also, your risk is greater if you have respiratory problems, chemical sensitivities, asthma, etc. Children and the elderly also have a greater risk.

VOCs and Offgassing

Outgassing is often referred to as offgassing. Outgassing is the process your mattress goes through when VOCs are released into the air, from the chemicals in your mattress. Have you ever noticed the strong odor that a new memory foam mattress has? This strong odor is due to the VOCs and chemicals in your mattress. These VOCs disperse into the air in your home, which you breathe in each day. When you detect these chemical smells, be aware that these are a source of potential harm.

How to Avoid Breathing in VOCs

Synthetic materials generally contain VOCs, whereas natural materials do not. That may be so, but it’s crucial to note that the process of creating some products, even with natural materials, results in them containing VOCs. Wherever possible, try to opt for an organic latex mattress since they don’t have volatile organic compounds.

Your Mattress

Perhaps you find it easy to fall asleep at night, no matter where you are. But, sleeping on a traditional mattress, filled with VOCs, makes it harder to get a good night’s rest. Not only will your mattress be laden with dust mites and skin cells, but it could be leaking out harmful chemicals as well.

It’s likely that you’re sleeping on polyurethane foam, whether a mattress is a traditional innerspring model or a memory foam model. Polyurethane foam is a synthetic derivative of petroleum. These mattresses have offgassing from the VOCs inside of the mattress, and they are unsafe and unhealthy to sleep on.

You may also be sleeping on a mattress that contains chemical flame retardants. Chemical flame retardants are commonly used on mattresses and they are well-known for harboring harmful toxins that leech out, into the air that you breathe, as you sleep.

Offgassing odors, from chemicals and VOCs, are not only displeasing, but they can trigger asthma attacks, upper respiratory discomforts, headaches and other reactions. We all see our beds as a safe place to be. But, how safe are they really, when they are filled with chemicals? The fewer toxins that you bring into your home, the less you will expose your family to harm.

VOCs are not found in organic latex mattresses, as mentioned. Organic latex mattress toppers don’t contain volatile organic compounds either, as they are made with 100 % natural latex. When you choose one of these, you can sleep easy, knowing that you’re not releasing harmful chemicals into the air that you and your family breathe.

Why Choose an Organic Latex Mattress?

Organic mattresses and bedding are becoming more and more popular as we seek to live healthier lifestyles. We spend so much time sleeping in our bedrooms that it’s no wonder people are so interested in sleeping healthy.

Is it possible to find a mattress that isn’t filled with questionable chemicals? The answer is yes! Organic latex mattresses contain no VOCs, they are completely recyclable and they typically last for up to 25 years. They can save you money and they are the healthiest sleeping surface for you and your family. If you’re concerned about off gassing and toxic chemicals in your mattress and home, then an organic latex mattress is the way to go.

Traditional Mattress

Traditional mattress options include memory foam beds, gel foam beds and innerspring beds with different fiber and foam layers. The majority of these mattresses contain synthetic materials like  polyurethane foams, vinyl, press board, polyester fabrics and more. They’re also often treated with chemical flame retardants, adhesives, dyes, glues, antimicrobials, and other chemicals that contribute to unhealthy off-gassing.

Organic Mattress

An organic latex mattress, on the other hand, is made with 100% natural latex – no synthetic blends, no fillers, no dyes, no carcinogenic adhesives, no chemicals and no pesticides. Clean, pure, 100% natural latex, as Mother Nature intended. This is the healthiest sleeping surface you will find.

Natural Mattress

Sitting somewhere in between these two distinct categories are mattresses that use all natural materials. These mattresses are not organic, but they often include some healthy materials such as plant-based poly foams, natural fabrics, and natural latex along with coils or a foam core.

Pros Of Choosing an Organic Latex Mattress

It’s time to make the switch to an organic latex mattress if you’re worried about volatile organic compounds getting into your home or the homes of the people you love. The benefits include:

  • VOC-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • No pesticide residues
  • Non-toxic fire barriers
  • Sustainable manufacturing and farming

Keep you and your loved ones safe. Consider buying an organic latex mattress today. Don’t accept volatile organic compounds in your home.

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Which Sleeps Cooler – A Natural Latex Mattress or a Memory Foam Mattress?

Natural Latex Mattress

A good night’s sleep is a precious commodity these days. When you’re uncomfortably hot throughout the night, it is difficult to get that long, restful, undisturbed type of sleep you need in order to remain refreshed and energized.

Are​ ​The​ ​Best​ ​Latex​ ​Mattresses​ ​Made​ ​of​ ​Dunlop​ ​Latex​ ​or​ Talalay​ ​Latex?

dunlop latex

Dunlop latex

talalay latex

Talalay latex

Once you’ve made the decision that a latex mattress is the right choice for you, your work isn’t finished. There are still other decisions to make. One of those decisions is whether you want your new mattress to be made with Dunlop latex or Talalay latex. Each one offers unique and very specific benefits.

What are the Benefits of Sleeping on a 100 % Natural Latex Mattress?

natural latex mattress

Sleeping on a 100 % natural latex mattress will be a new and unique experience for many people. You will find there are several benefits to consider when it comes to sleeping on 100 % natural latex, including those detailed below.

What Is A CertiPUR-US® Certified Memory Foam Mattress?

CertiPur memory foam mattress

If you’re like most people, you spend a third of your life in bed. Therefore, it’s essential for you to pick a mattress that is going to meet the needs of your own body. You need a mattress that will compliment your head, neck, and the rest of your body. It needs to be a comfortable place where you can unwind, relax, and look forward to a good night’s sleep. It also needs to be safe from harmful chemicals.

What is the Best Mattress for Children?

kids on a mattress

As a parent, you may agonize over every decision you make for your children. From the choice of pediatrician to the schools they attend and even the things we purchase for them.

The primary objective you have as parent is to raise happy, healthy children. It seems like such a simple proposition. But, every parent knows there are so many big and small things that go wrong, despite your best intentions.

When it comes to buying mattress, it is important to not only find a mattress that is safe for your children to sleep on, but to find a mattress that will offer room for your children to grow. These are a few things you should look for when you’re looking for the best mattress for your children.

5 Reasons Why a Customized Mattress is Better than a “One Type Fits All” Mattress

If there is one thing we’ve learned over the years as a society, it is that things advertised as “one size fits all” rarely do. With this in mind, it is almost always better to look for things that are custom fits in your life. This is true whether these things are clothing items, accessories, or home furnishing items.

How Does a 100% Natural Latex Mattress Compare to a Blended or Synthetic Latex Mattress?

healthy mattress

In your search for the perfect mattress, you’ll find yourself faced with many decisions along the way. Families today have lofty expectations for their mattresses and they should! You spend up to eight hours per night on your mattress. That’s more time than you spend in your car, on your sofa, or even at your desk in the office (especially once you factor all the moving around you do during the day). Your mattress is an investment in your health, but what kind of mattress is the best investment for your needs?

What is the Healthiest Mattress I Can Buy?

healthy mattress

Safeguarding your health is one of the most important things you can do to maintain superior happiness and quality of life. It is not only good for you, but it can also improve your engagement at work and your relationships with others in your life to get a healthy night’s sleep.

Mattress Safety – Natural Fire Barriers vs. Chemical Fire Barriers

nontoxic mattress

Waking up to the smell of smoke and feeling the burning hot flames from your bed on fire is something you may never want to think about. Unfortunately, mattress fires happen. According to CBS News, there were an estimated 17,800 bedding and mattress fires in the U.S. in just 2001 alone. Of these, 8,500 fires involved pillows or mattresses.