Despite the many articles, news stories, literature and studies we’ve relayed and posted on this blog, it’s not enough to spread the word and raise awareness on how harmful some mattresses are for babies. There are still countless of consumers buying toxic mattress, mostly because they aren’t aware of the dangers. And despite government warnings, there are still manufacturers who are able to peddle these products.
A new study published in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal suggest that even with today’s mattress standards set by Consumer Product Safety Commission, some 100 or more mattress and pillows, tested by scientists, were found to contain chemicals that are classified as carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents.
Here is part of a press release published online, regarding the findings of the study, which was posted in Green Science Policy:
The findings regarding the chemicals found in the baby products:
• More than a third of the baby products tested (baby strollers, changing pads, car seats, nursing pillows, etc), contained a flame retardant known as TDCPP, or Chlorinated Tris, at levels up to 12% of the .weight of the foam in the products. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chlorinated Tris is a probable human carcinogen. The authors estimate that some infants and toddlers are receiving higher exposure to TDCPP than the CPSC acceptable daily intake levels.
• The second most frequently detected flame retardant additives were ingredients in Chemtura’s Firemaster ® 550. In 2004, the EPA Design for the Environment predicted reproductive, neurological, and developmental toxicity and persistent degradation products for these brominated components of Firemaster 550. These chemicals have been found in house dust samples, sewage sludge, marine mammals, and Arctic wildlife. They appear to be persistent and lack adequate health information.
• Fourteen products in the study were found to contain the flame retardant TCEP, which has been identified as a probably carcinogen by the State of California. The finding of TCEP in nine nursing pillows out of eleven analyzed is of particular concern due to the high level of contact babies and mothers have with nursing pillows and the volatility or tendency of this flame retardant to escape from the product.
• Five products contained Chemtura’s pentabrominated diphenyl ether (pentaBDE), which was banned by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. In addition to many dozens of animal studies showing adverse reproductive, neurological, and endocrine effects from pentaBDE, new studies in humans find similar associations between pentaBDE and lowered IQ, increased time to pregnancy, and adverse hormonal changes.
As parents or consumers, there really is a need to raise awareness on these dangers and find alternatives for it. There are countless of organic mattresses already sold in stores and while we’re aware these can be quite expensive, investing on this may actually be a matter of life and death.