Looking at the labels of different mattresses, even a smart consumer will be confused as to why mattresses must be flame retardant but don’t have to be free of toxic carcinogens. We’re confused by that, too. The main reason is politics. There is a loophole in the law that required mattresses not burst into flame when someone falls asleep with a lit cigarette or drops a candle on the bed but there are no details on how they should do this or what flame retardants can and can’t be in the home.
In 2005, California legislation was passed that required mattresses be flame resistant. In 2007, the federal government followed California’s lead in the hopes of saving lives and passed a national mandate for flame retardant mattresses. At the time, about one in every million Americans fell asleep with a cigarette, and the regulations would save several hundred lives a year. This would prevent mattresses and the homes they were in from going up in flames.
These good intentions left it up to big businesses to determine the best way to make mattresses flame retardant. Big businesses, unlike this mandate, were more concerned with making money than saving lives. Instead of spending the time and money to research and develop new, healthy mattress that were flame retardant, they just treated their current mattresses with chemicals that would do the job. The costs in American health have ended up outweighing the money that should have been spent to come up with a better solution. The lack of foresight of the lawmakers coupled with money hungry big businesses has been poisoning consumers for the past decade.
The main issue with traditional, non-organic materials is in how they are made. They often contain synthetic, petroleum-based chemicals that are bad for people and bad for the environment, such as polyurethane foams, glues, and other adhesives. Manufacturers spray some equally dangerous chemicals and noxious perfumes on the mattresses to fool consumers, and then send them out into the world. These sweet-smelling mattresses are a sure sign of chemicals hidden below. A mattress shouldn’t smell like a rose, so be aware before you purchase one that does. They have thorns in the form of carcinogens and toxic chemicals lurking below the pillowtop. If you took that scent away, you would be aghast at the chemical odor coming from those mattresses.
If you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it. Traditional mattresses will include things like tributyltin maleate, bonded quaternary ammonium chloride compounds, decamethylcyclopentasiloxane, and other chemicals that make the mattress flame retardant. Organic cotton, organic wool, and all-natural latex mattresses are free of those chemicals, and infinitely easier to pronounce. The best part is that these healthy options are just as flame retardant as the non-organic ones.
The main ingredient in organic, natural mattresses and beds is latex sap harvested from Hevea Brasiliensis, also known as the rubber tree. These trees are incredibly sustainable sources of sap. They are harvested for only 160 days out of the year and recover in an hour. Sleep easy knowing that your mattress from Houston Natural Mattresses is healthy for you and the planet.