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Chemical Sensitive consumers & my foam mattress 9 years 6 months ago #32446

  • sem40
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Since being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder I try to avoid unnecessary toxins in what I eat by trying to buy organics and in my environment by buying green household cleaners and what not. When my counts are low paint fumes and car exhaust and stuff like that can feel more noxious to me. Maybe it's subjective but that kind of stuff seems to wear me down, adding to my aches and exhaustion.

I just purchased a new memory foam mattress. The sales person told me it would need to "off-gas" for at least 6 hours before I put any sheets or anything on it. After it was delivered I left it in an empty room with a fan blowing on it and the windows open. It’s been four days and still smells strong of chemicals. I've purchased a new mattress in the past and wasn't told anything about off gassing.

I guess I should have done my research prior to purchasing but now that I own a memory foam mattress I'm reading online about them being more toxic than other types of mattresses.

A flame retardant called PBDE used in mattresses and upholstered furniture was taken off the market in 2005 because it was deemed a neurotoxin. I learned this through my recent web research. I do believe it's important to be a mindful consumer.

Prior to itp I never felt any chemical sensitivities so I'm new to being a cautious consumer and I'm still learning how to make practical decisions. It's hard when you have such limited information from manufacturers about what's really in their products and then you have so many different internet sites promoting the dangers of almost everything you can come in contact with.

I can still do a one time "comfort exchange" of my mattress and get a different style since I'm within a 30 day exchange window. I think I'm going to do that because in retrospect given my efforts to reduce my chemical burden I realize I shouldn't be buying any kind of product that needs to "off-gas".

Apparently there are totally organic mattresses out there with no chemicals. They use wool as a fire retardant. The company where I got my memory foam mattress doesn't offer this style so I'll probably end up getting either a latex mattress or a spring coil, which will still have chemicals but hopefully less and without any off-gassing periods.

Does anyone have any experience purchasing mattresses or other products with chemical sensitivity in mind? Do you know of reliable sources for consumer information? Has anyone owned a foam mattress and felt fine with it? Was there an extended off gassing period? Any opinions on the health effects of different mattresses? The sales person I spoke with had no idea what fire retardants were in their mattresses (supposedly the different types used can make a difference) and probably thought I was daft.

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Chemical Sensitive consumers & my foam mattress 9 years 6 months ago #32449

  • sem40
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www.ewg.org/pbdefree This is a reliable source that I trust. Maybe the hysteria over memory foam is only referring to pre-2005 products. Still, my gut tells me anything that smells that strongly of chemicals should not be slept on...

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Chemical Sensitive consumers & my foam mattress 9 years 6 months ago #32450

  • sem40
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askgreenirene.tenderapp.com/kb/toxic-free-living/mattress-off-gassing-and-other-things-to-know-about-what-you-sleep-on

This article is on off-gassing. Sounds reasonable. No real definitive answers on health risks though.

"Although the "chemical smell" should disappear, it will continue to off-gas for an unknown amount of time with unknown human health risks."

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Chemical Sensitive consumers & my foam mattress 9 years 6 months ago #32454

  • Sandi
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  • Sandi Forum Moderator Diagnosed in 1998, currently in remission. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2006. Last Count - 344k - 6-9-18
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I've heard that about memory foam mattresses, but I do have one. I never noticed any odor when I first got it or anytime after that. I use memory foam pillows as well. I love the mattress....it's been the most comfortable one I've ever had.
The following user(s) said Thank You: sem40

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Chemical Sensitive consumers & my foam mattress 9 years 6 months ago #32506

  • sem40
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Thanks Sandy, it's helpful to hear from people who have owned them.

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Chemical Sensitive consumers & my foam mattress 9 years 6 months ago #32507

  • sem40
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www.myhealthiestlife.com/2011/06/memory-foam-mattresses-how-toxic-are-they-2/

Here's another article, it also doesn't seem to have the hard facts I'm looking for but I can relate to the authors experience.


s3.amazonaws.com/entp-tender-production/assets/b32f29b887d08981eb174ea240dc62a944dec3d9/Mattress_Guide.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAISVUXXOK32ATONEQ&Expires=1368367685&Signature=cKG86guUv8VDbHxeFKDYFcg8gy0%3D

This page gives a nice breakdown of organic/natural mattresses and has some experts weigh in on the info the manufacturers provide.

All products should be labeled clearly so you don't have to go through so much hassle just to make sure what you're spending your money on is safe for you.

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Chemical Sensitive consumers & my foam mattress 8 years 11 months ago #39042

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I developed my hemolytic anemia after we purchased our memory foam mattress. My liver levels were off the charts. I was completely yellow. I will never buy one again. We returned ours and got a plan mattress and even let it off gas for a few weeks.

Chemical sensitivity is real and for those with auto-immune issues it is dangerous. It's a real consideration for us when we consider any house remodeling.

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Chemical Sensitive consumers & my foam mattress 8 years 10 months ago #39067

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I just purchased a memory foam pillow, and I let it air out for a few days as per the instructions, and it still smells rather like chemicals after a couple of days of use. I also think it's starting to irritate my face a bit too. My acne has been acting up. I think I'm going to go back to my old pillow.
Diagnosed: August 2013, lowest count 2k.
Treatments: IVIG, Prednisone, transfusions.
Current Count: 233k, 12/23/2013.
Currently: Watching/waiting.

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Chemical Sensitive consumers & my foam mattress 8 years 10 months ago #39095

  • Ann
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I bought memory foam pillows and I love them. I'm now going to buy a memory foam mattress. Hey, I got the pillow and then went into remission, maybe it's been my cure! I don't believe that but it uses the same logic.

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Chemical Sensitive consumers & my foam mattress 8 years 10 months ago #39099

  • sem40
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Ann, Your reference to logic makes me think about how as consumers we tend to see things in black or white. Something's either all good or all bad. I think thats how it should be. That's why we have laws regulating the safety of products so we don't have to think about that kind of stuff, the endless manufacturing details we're really not qualified to make decisions about. Unfortunately, I still feel it's important for people to be cautious about the chemicals they expose themselves to. Chemical safety regulations are revised all the time. So much does seem to come down to trial and error though. That's great that memory foam works for you. Enjoy your sleep.

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