More places than ever to find a bed without chemicals…
When we first went shopping for an organic crib mattress, we got lucky. During a visit to my in-laws, a neighbor was having a yard sale featuring a barely used organic crib mattress. What luck! They saved us long hours of searching and researching for a bed without toxic chemicals. Most parents won’t have the same luck, and fortunately, they won’t have to anymore for there are an abundant of companies across the US and Canada manufacturing and selling organic and natural fabric beds. It is a booming competitive industry that has significantly lowered the prices, but buyer beware! There are many beds out there that make claims with very little data to backup what they say. Here are a few things to know before starting off on your search for an organic and/or nontoxic bed for your family.
There are many varieties of certifications associated with the mattress industry and each certification specifies a particular product within the mattress or region where the product is sold. Here is a list of a few of the certifications:
- ECO Institut
- Cradle to Cradle
- Texas Department of Agriculture Certification of Organic Cotton
- Euro Latex ECO-Standard
- Green America
- Control Union Certification (India)
- FSC Certified
You may be wondering why there are so many agencies offering certification, until you look at the long list of chemicals associated with the standard commercial mattress and the health risks from sleeping on them every night. A study by scientists at UC Davis MIND Institute is bringing to light the potential damages to brain health from BDE-49, a common PBDE in flame retardants that accumulates in breast milk, blood and fat. “There are PBDEs in furniture, carpets, car seats, baby clothing – pretty much everywhere,” said Cecilia Giulivi, a professor and lead author for the study at Department of Molecular Biosciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis. Some mattresses made before 2004 contained this chemical, but now there are a whole new set of chemicals used to meet the new standards set by Consumer Product Safety Commission. Some are benign, like boric acid used to treat cotton, but some still contain carcinogens and VOCs. A simple solution that eliminates these compounds are found in organic and natural mattresses by wrapping the mattress in wool. Wool is naturally fire retardant, and exceeds most standards set by the CPSC. Every company that claims to have met CPSC standards should be able to provide you with a copy of their current certifications, so don’t be afraid to ask.
All this information means nothing if you cannot find a nontoxic mattress. Fortunately, there are many places to purchase them. Here is a list of just a few manufacturers and retailers of natural and organic beds with a wide array of styles, sizes and firmness to choose: