**Tests on Memory Foam Reveal Highest Amount of Toxic Chemicals: Laboratory tests have found that conventional memory foam mattresses emit on average of 61 toxic VOCs, including benzene, propane, styrene and naphthalene, recognized as carcinogens by the EPA, as well as numerous other health organizations. Memory foam mattresses, which are often the most expensive mattresses, also turn out to be the most toxic mattresses in terms of VOC content. For example, exposure to Benzene has been linked with Leukemia, as well as other abnormalities of the blood and bone marrow. The foul smell many people report as emanating from these types of mattresses is made up of these VOCs.
**Tests on Conventional Innerspring Mattresses: Tests have revealed that conventional innerspring mattresses emit an average of 39 toxic VOCs, including Tetrachloryethylene, listed as a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.
***NO SILICA: Greencradle does not permit the use of any chemicals such as Silica to meet fire retardancy laws. Silica is used by some companies making “organic” mattresses, because silica is considerably cheaper than wool. However, Silica is listed under California Prop 65 as a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer if inhaled. We thus, feel it is unacceptable to have Silica as a fire retardant in mattresses. In addition, when this silica is used in “organic” mattresses it is typically bonded to synthetic fiber, which are decidedly non-organic.
It should be noted that mattress companies trying to sell you silica-filled mattresses always make a big deal about the fact that they are wool-free, claiming they are sparing the consumer the risk of wool allergies. In reality, wool allergies are extremely rare, and largely consists of reports by people that they find wool itchy, thus, making it questionable whether such reports are even true allergies. Wool is a more coarse fiber than cotton which is why people perceive it as itchy, but this coarseness and durability is exactly what makes wool a natural fire retardant that can pass open flame burn tests. For a fact, the wool in an organic mattress never comes in contact with the skin, thus, any concern about skin sensitivities are simply not relevant when the wool is used in the inner-core of the mattress and never comes in contact with anyone’s skin.
Also, it should be noted that organic wool is not like the conventional wool that people ordinarily come in contact with. Conventional wool is sheered from sheep that have been dipped alive in pesticides that include known carcinogens and skin/eye/respiratory irritants. Organic wool does not have any such chemicals applied to it, and thus, retains a purity that few people have experienced. If an organic mattress does not have wool in it, it has to use synthetics or silica. Replacing wool with silica, a known carcinogen when inhaled, is hardly doing someone a favor. It’s like saying, wool can give you allergies, so we’ve replaced it with something that can give you cancer. While it may sound preposterous, it makes for an excellent marketing gimmick. If we wanted to we could use silica in our mattresses instead of wool, but we make a conscious choice not to, because we believe there are serious health ramifications involved.
The Benefits of Natural Rubber:
1) Naturally Hypoallergenic: Organic Rubber Mattresses are naturally mold, mildew, bacteria and dust-mite resistant. The mattresses are, thus, naturally hypoallergenic for allergy sufferers, including those with asthma, eczema and multiple chemical sensitivities.
2) Fewer Pressure Points: Natural rubber mattresses also create fewer pressure points than either innerspring or conventional memory-foam mattresses. Natural rubber mattresses have been found to provide 30% more pressure relief than synthetic memory foam. Pressure points cut off blood circulation and thus interrupt the vital flow of oxygen to your legs, arms and head, leading to discomfort and restlessness that may cause you to be unable to sleep soundly and comfortably. Less pressure points can mean a deeper, more refreshing sleep, and less pains in the spine and back in the morning.
3) Contours to the Body: Natural rubber also is unique in that it contours to the body immediately, and, thus, you don’t need to wait for body heat to melt the mattress and conform to your shape, like you would with a synthetic memory-foam mattress. Memory foam is made from the leftovers from gasoline production, a non-renewable resource. Natural rubber is renewable. Tests have shown that memory foam can have the highest VOC chemical content of any mattress on the market. Paradoxically, memory foam mattresses can be the most expensive mattresses to purchase, while also carrying the greatest load of toxic chemicals.
4) Reduced Motion Transfer: Natural rubber also reduces motion transfer so sleepers are less likely to be disturbed by their partners – this means that a person moving on one side of the bed is less apt to bother someone peacefully sleeping on the other side.
5) Heat/Breathability: Natural rubber is actually 4 times more breathable than polyurethane, memory foam or Dunlop rubber. This means that a Talalay mattress will not absorb as much heat. Many people complain that their mattress is too hot, because synthetic materials, like polyurethane and polyester are actually heat magnets that do not breathe. Air does not circulate in these synthetic mattresses and, thus, a sleeper’s body temperature and discomfort level increase as a result. An uncomfortable sleeper is a bad sleeper. Natural rubber, not to mention organic wool, actually help to regulate body temperature, and thus, decreases the heat in a bed. While people typically think that wool in a bed would seem hot, in fact, wool radiates out heat, and thus actually keeps you cooler and more comfortable year-round. Heart rates have actually been shown to decrease when wool is used in a sleep surface.
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