Why Buy an Organic Mattress?

I suppose that I bought my organic mattress for the same reason that I buy organic produce; I want to make sure that I’m not putting chemically laden food in my body or my home.  We all know about the organic craze that is sweeping the country and a large number of us are trying to do the best that we can to eat healthy.  We want to know where our food comes from.  I have a strong feeling that this is not a passing fad like the low-fat debacle of the 90’s (Olestra and its’ unusual side-effects come to mind…unfortunately).  Rather, this is a realization occurring on a grass-roots level, by a huge number of us that we are tired of eating produce coated in pesticide residues and processed food that is created in a laboratory and made on an assembly line.  When you consider that you are lying in a bed for at least 8 hours a day, a third of your life, with your skin in constant contact with the bedding and your face buried in the fabrics; if you have a non-organic mattress you are quite literally enveloped in a cocoon of toxins.  Here’s a short list of chemicals commonly found in non-organic mattresses:  formaldehyde, used in the adhesives that hold mattresses together.  Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether is used in flame retardant compounds.  Xylene which is used in many mattress adhesives, the EPA has identified this compound as a cause of birth defects.  Toluene Discarnate or TDI is an ingredient in many visco-elastic and polyurethane foams and is known to cause respiratory problems and skin irritation.  OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has classified it as toxic.  The list goes on: Antimony Oxide, PentaBDE, Benzene, and Polyvinyl Chloride.  Personally, I simply do not see how lying on a bed soaked in these chemicals can be good for any of us. When I was shopping for my organic mattress I looked for a few key certifications from trusted third party testing organizations.  I suggest that you look for GOTS(Global Organic Textile Standard), GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard), OTCO (Oregon Tilth Certification) and CU (Control Union).  Certifications awarded to manufacturers from these organizations mean that the mattress is certified organic.  Steer clear of advertisements stating “eco-friendly,” “green” or “all natural.”  Those are slick marketing buzz-words used to try to convince consumers that non-organic mattresses are somehow healthy products for use in home.  The bottom line is if the mattress isn’t certified as such, it’s not organic.


By Wes Miller

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