Should i get an Organic Crib Mattress?
You would think that since crib mattresses are regulated and certified with a giant safety seal they would be safe. That's not entirely true.
A recent study by the University of Texas showed that:
- 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.
Manufacturers are interested in pushing product out the door for as little money as possible as long at it passes government regulations.
So why buy an organic crib mattress? Is an organic crib mattress necessary? You be the judge.
Here are just a few of the unhealthy components found in your standard crib mattress.
1) Brominated Fire Retardants
These fire retardant materials are cause for concern wherever children may come in contact with them. This applies to sofas and any other soft furniture where they may be present, as well as crib mattresses.
Countries in Europe have banned them entirely. PBDE's are stored in the human body over time, making them bioaccumalitive.
In experiments in mice, they lead to problems with the thyroid, developmental problems with learning and motor skills, and cancer.
PDBE's are not just in mattresses, but in televisions, computers, carpets, couches and anything that may have been treated with a fire retardant.
2) Cheap Glues
Why do you want to avoid cheap glue? Simply put, cheap glues contain a number of chemicals that are harmful to children, and standard crib mattresses contain large amounts of these glues to keep it firm and rigid.
Many of these glues contain volatile organic compounds (VOC's), the same compounds that paint companies are trying to remove from their paints. If it is harmful on your walls, think about how harmful it is for your child to sleep right next to it. These glues off-gas for years, just as paint that contains VOC's does.
3) Polyvinyl Chloride (vinyl)
One of the more important factors in a crib mattress to most parents is waterproofing.
In standard crib mattresses, waterproofing is achieved with plastics that contain the hazardous compound polyvinyl chloride, or PVC.
Over time, PVC off-gasses vinyl chloride.
According to the EPA, Vinyl chloride is a known human carcinogen that causes a rare cancer of the liver. Harmful dioxins are a by-product of the manufacture of vinyl chloride. Dioxins are very toxic to any ecosystem that they may enter.
Another negative to vinyl is that it cracks. Urine, feces, sweat etc seep in through these cracks and accumulate in the mattress. They breathe this in while this sleep not to mention every time your child jumps it releases an unhealthy plume of air filled with this concoction of bodily fluids.
A proper organic crib mattress will not contain any plastics or chemical waterproofing of any kind. Waterproof mattress protectors are sold separately for most organic crib mattresses which can be easily washed.
4) Polyester Fabrics
Fabrics and batting in crib mattresses are often made with polyester. Why is polyester bad? According to the Ecology Center website, polyester can cause respiratory tract irritation and severe skin rashes. Watch disposable diapers as well for baby - they also contain polyester.
5) Petrochemical Foams
Most crib mattresses are made with petrochemicals, such as polyurethane foam. Non-organic foams and memory foams both give off a chemical odor and have been linked to allergic development and asthma.
It's not hype, buying an organic crib mattress could be one of the most important purchases you'll ever make for your baby or child to ensure their safety while they sleep.