Why Do Non-Organic Mattresses Contain Harmful Chemicals?

As consumers demand more transparent practices from the businesses they patronize and the world they live in, they are often possessed by a perplexing quandary: why is a mattress required to be flame retardant, yet companies aren’t required to make products free of cancer-causing agents? The short answer is that it became an issue of politics. The industry was mandated to prevent fires caused by people falling asleep with a lit cigarette, but it never addressed how companies should go about introducing flame retardants in our home; just that it should.

It all started in California in 2005, when a law passed through the state legislature requiring any mattress sold be resistant to open flames. It seemed like a good idea that would save American lives, so the federal government followed suit in 2007 with a nationwide mandate that required the same. At the time, experts estimated that 1 of every 1 million U.S. citizens would fall asleep with a lit cigarette, engulfing themselves (and their homes) in flames. Given the size of the U.S. population, this provision would save a few hundred American lives per year.

The intentions of these laws were good, but they also left discretion to large businesses obsessed with profit margin. Perhaps you’ve heard of the term “Occam’s Razor,” which states that the simplest path is usually the correct one. This is what big mattress makers thought, but they took it a step further: rather than investing money into sustainable, healthy ways to create flame retardant products, they simply sprayed their existing ones with flame-resistant chemicals. Here was the lawmaker’s lack of foresight: the simplest solution was not the correct one; it was the one that lead to adverse health effects, just to cut some costs.

A free market economy stipulates that we live in a “buyer beware” world (or sleeper, in this case), but today’s consumer is confronted with an interesting question: what can we do to protect the health of myself and those I love?

The problem with non-organic mattresses is in the nature (using the term loosely) of their construction: they’re usually made of synthetic and petroleum-based materials. These can be in the form of polyurethane foams, adhesives, and glues. They may even contain artificial fragrances designed to allure the innocent shopper. Think back to your high school English class, when you read Romeo and Juliet:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet…”

Juliet may have had a point when it came to the lineage of her star-crossed lover, but there’s no way she could have accounted for modern businesses practices. And there are some things that shouldn’t smell like roses, and a mattress is one of them. If you catch a whiff of rose wafting off a mattress at your local store, it’s a good indication to high-tail it in the other direction. Why? Because the manufacturer is trying to cover of the smell of toxic chemicals by enveloping their product with the scent of sweet flowers.

These days, it’s exactly what’s in a name that counts. It’s past time to consider buying a natural mattress. An all-natural latex mattress, organic cotton mattress, or organic wool mattress are the healthiest options available on the market today. So what’s in them? Dallas natural organic mattress stores carry products that are just as safe for you as your typical flame retardant version, but without dangerous chemicals like tributyltin maleate, bonded quatermary ammonium chloride compounds, decamethcyclopentasiloxane, and other unpronounceable words.

Natural mattresses and organic beds are made exclusively from the latex sap harvested from Hevea Brasiliensis, also known as the rubber tree. These trees are harvested for sap about 160 days per year and can recover in about an hour, making them an environmentally sustainable option. When you choose an organic mattress, you’re making a better choice for your health and the world we live in. And at Dallas Natural Mattress, we believe that’s something you can sleep easy on.