Taking care of your health and well-being is a must. This includes becoming aware of the potential hazards posed by everyday items. An item that you might not often think about is your mattress. Unfortunately, conventional mattresses have numerous toxic ingredients that may be compromising your health. Read on to learn how is your conventional mattress harming you.
Getting a good night’s sleep is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle since sleep influences your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. However, the quality of your sleep and your state of health can be significantly compromised when you are exposed to harmful external influences.
What Is in Your Conventional Mattress?
A conventional mattress contains toxic materials that can potentially pose health risks. These can potentially off-gas or release particles into the air and environment over time, especially older mattresses.
Some common toxic materials found in traditional mattresses include:
- Polyurethane Foam: Polyurethane foam is a petroleum-based material that has been the standard fill used in many conventional mattresses for its cushioning properties since the 1960s. It has toxic substances such as propylene oxide (methyloxirane) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI). This foam can also release volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Volatile Organic Compounds are emitted by various materials used in conventional mattresses, including synthetic foams, adhesives, and coatings. Studies show that mattresses can release up to 30 different types of VOCs. VOCs can contribute to indoor air pollution and negatively impact indoor air quality, leading to respiratory issues and other health concerns.
- Flame Retardants: Flame retardants are chemicals added to mattresses to meet fire safety regulations. Many traditional mattresses contain flame retardants that are known to be harmful.
- Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is used in the adhesives and glues that hold mattresses together.
- Pesticides and Herbicides: Conventionally grown cotton is often treated with pesticides and herbicides during cultivation. Mattresses made with non-organic cotton can retain these residues, which may come into contact with individuals during sleep.
- Phthalates: Phthalates are chemicals used to soften plastics and are sometimes found in vinyl covers and other mattress components.
- Synthetic Latex: Some conventional mattresses use synthetic latex, which is derived from petrochemicals. This type of latex can release VOCs and may not have the same natural and breathable properties as natural latex.
- Metals: Innerspring mattresses often have metal components, and these metals may include toxic substances.
- Antimony: Antimony is sometimes used in mattresses as a flame retardant.
- Boric Acid: Boric acid is another flame retardant that is sometimes used in mattresses. While it’s considered less toxic than some other options, prolonged exposure can still lead to health concerns.
These toxins are not the only problem, dust mites are another issue:
- These microscopic insects feed on dead human skin cells and accumulate in mattresses. A study found that mattresses contain the highest concentration of dust mites in a household.
Health Risks Associated with Conventional Mattresses
Conventional mattresses have toxins that can be released into the air and potentially affect indoor air quality. Additionally, continuous exposure to harmful chemicals while sleeping can contribute to a range of health problems, from mild discomfort to respiratory issues, allergies, and more severe long-term issues.
Here are some concerning issues:
- Polyurethane Foam: This foam can lead to respiratory problems, skin irritation, and allergic reactions. Substances found in the foam such as methyloxirane and TDI are recognized as carcinogens.
- VOCs: VOCs can contribute to indoor air pollution and negatively impact indoor air quality, leading to respiratory issues, headaches, and other health issues.
- Flame Retardants: Flame retardants such as PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) have been associated with developmental delays, hormonal disruptions, reproductive disorders, and even cancer.
- Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and can also cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions.
- Phthalates: Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors and have been linked to developmental and reproductive issues.
- Metals: Nickel is a toxic metal that can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
- Antimony: Prolonged exposure to antimony can lead to respiratory issues, skin irritation, and gastrointestinal problems.
- Boric Acid: Boric acid is less toxic than the above materials but some studies have shown that its inhalation can reduce fetal weight and skin exposure can produce abdominal and skin issues.
- Dust Mites: These are some of the most common indoor allergens and can cause symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, wheezing, and difficulty breathing, as well as worsen symptoms in people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.
- Other allergens: Conventional mattresses can also accumulate pet dander and other allergens over time. This can worsen allergies and respiratory issues for individuals who are sensitive to these particles.
As you can see a conventional mattress is not an ideal element in your bedroom since it can potentially harm your health and compromise your sleep. If you are truly looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle, minimize exposure to toxic harmful substances, and sleep deep and sound, you should consider getting a non-toxic mattress and be aware of other sleep disruptors.
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor