Fire Retardants in Mattresses
As of 2007, all mattresses are required to contain enough Fire Retardant to withstand a 2 foot wide blowtorch open flame for 70 seconds.
Nearly 90% of the market, or most major sleep product brands, use a highly controversial fire retardant due to it's cost efficiency. In order to maintain its brand integrity and health standard.
Essentia has opted to incorporate a better quality fire retardant in all its mattresses. By using Kevlar, the same fabric used in bulletproof vests, Essentia organic mattresses and organic crib mattresses provide the same safety standards as other mattress brands without compromising its product integrity and its commitment to a healthier night's sleep.
Fire Retardants are prevalent in a multitude of common household products and can be found in everything from pillows to couches, childrens clothing, carpets, computers and baby toys.
Hazardous Chemicals found in FRs:
- Boric Acid (reproductive and developmental toxin, used as a pesticide)
- Antimony (causes heart and lung damage, possible carcinogen)
- Decabromodiphenyl Oxide (causes hair and memory loss, possible carcinogen)
- Heart, lung and kidney damage
These chemicals leech though pillow and mattress covers and are absorbed through the skin.
Exposure to these FRs has been linked to:
- Skin irritation
- Learning and memory deficit
- Heart, lung and kidney damage
- Birth defects
Chronic exposure to these chemicals causes them to accumulate in the body and present themselves in:
- the blood stream
- breast milk
- umbilical cord blood
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) approved a 2006 federal regulation (16 CFR 1640) enforcing a strict national flameproof mattress standard, mandating all new mattresses to withstand a two-foot wide blowtorch open-flame test, for 70 seconds.
The national flameproof mattress regulation has been in effect in California since 1/1/05 and is now effective nationwide. All mattresses, sofa beds, futons, cribs and fold out beds are included under the regulation.
Chemicals Found in Most Mattress Fire Retardants
Chemicals are used in manufacturing fire retardants. The CPSC has concluded the level of exposure safe, whereas the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disagrees. According to the EPA, the percentage of Antimony present in most FRs is 27.5 times higher than the recommended percentage. http://www.epa.gov/iris/subst/0006.htm
Why are most Mattresses Fire Retardants Harmful?
Though the new regulation is intended to provide fire safety, it has produced a new health risk due to the use of hazardous chemical composition of most flame retardants. Most major mattress bands treat their sleep products with hazardous fire retardants in order to acquire the anti-flammable property necessary to withstand the two-foot thick open flame blowtorch test.
The regulation does not mandate the labeling of chemicals used in
fireproofing; manufactures are free to use any and all chemicals
including those that have yet to be tested for hazardous side effects.
Ironically, the National Flameproof Mattress regulation allow physicians, including chiropractors, to prescribe fire retardant free mattresses for patients should they conclude that the health risks posed by toxic fire retardants will interfere with the patients' well being.
List of chemicals found in Flame Proof Mattresses:
Mattress glues are also another hazard found in most coil and memory foam mattresses.
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