What Is Mattress Off-Gassing?

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Off-gassing is when toxic chemicals evaporate from your mattress into the air. As traditional mattresses with polyurethane foam and chemical flame retardants age, they off-gas these carcinogenic chemicals into the air you and your family breathe. These mattresses contain fire retardant formaldehyde, chemicals, and other toxic glues, stains, and coatings made from petroleum oil based polyurethane foam. These chemicals off-gas their toxic ingredients into the air over time.

You Can’t Smell Off-Gassing

Bacteria and fungus consume the fire-retardant chemicals on the mattress. As time goes on, these tiny organisms off-gas the chemicals into their air, which is why off-gassing becomes worse the older the mattress is. New mattresses off-gas as well, but they can fool you with their perfumed odor. Just because you can’t smell it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Allergic Reactions to Off-Gassing

Headaches, nausea, and allergic reactions are a complaint of many adults sleeping on new, traditional mattresses. When a friend or family member makes these complaints, be aware of where these mattresses are purchased and what the ingredients of the mattress are. If someone is complaining of an allergic reaction from a mattress, off-gassing is most likely the culprit.

photo by Krzysztof Szkurlatowski