Is Your Mattress Killing You Softly?

Chemical In Mattresses Could Be Toxic

A comfortable mattress and the right pillow can help you get a good night's sleep. But could your bed be making you sick?

Susan Blanford, of Oceanside, wrote 10News and said her new "memory foam" mattress is comfortable but stinks.

"What I wasn't told was that this 'off-gassing' is toxic and can make a person very sick. I have been poisoned," Blanford wrote.

The chemical causing the fumes is called boric acid, the same chemical used to kill cockroaches.

According to the U.S. Fire Association, bedroom fires kill nearly 1,000 people each year.

10News reported that the state of California passed a law requiring mattresses to be "open flame-resistant." As of this week, it is now the national standard -- the Consumer Product Safety Commission said the law will save 270 lives a year.

"If a mattress catches fire, mattress burns slowly so you can get out of the house and get away," said Hal Stratton, from the CPSC.

To make mattresses flame-resistant, they are sprayed or injected with boric acid.

Old mattresses are considered fire hazards; however, they are chemical-free.

Mark Strobel, from People For Clean Beds, said, "There's a one in a million risk of dying in a mattress fire. We think the risk from toxic chemicals is much higher than that."

Strobel is a mattress manufacturer who opposes the use of chemicals, like boric acid, antimony and deca.

"The real risk in this law is 10 or 15 years down the road we're going to find it's toxic and it's going to be too late," Strobel said.

However, the International Sleep Products Association said the fire-resistant materials used in mattresses are naturally found in many fruits and vegetables and protect "without exposing consumers to harmful substances."

Jerry Navavo, of Jerome's Furniture, told 10News the store's mattresses are not treated with boric acid but with kevlar, the same stuff used in bulletproof vests. He said that kevlar is safe.

Resources

  • www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06091.html
  • www.peopleforcleanbeds.org/
  • www.prescriptionbeds.com/
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