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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 18 Jul 2021 17:59 #31

  • Ardillamente
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An industrial hygienist will take an air test for you. Ours also cost $500. Keep in mind that anything in the normal range should still be suspect. All our mold was in "normal" ranges thanks to an awesome air filter we installed on the furnace, but my blood tests sure suggest normal is not healthy.


Our mold test analysis was called "in the normal range for mold spore count in Florida". Your comment makes me curious now though, especially since my eye irritation and coughing symptoms could all be explained by mold. Are you saying you got a Blood Mycotoxin test to determine your level of mold exposure and it came back that you had an unhealthy level of exposure?

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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 18 Jul 2021 20:14 #32

  • Serenitystar80
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Ardillamente,

First sorry to hear you experienced a bad chemical reaction to several possible sources. I'm glad you've continued to share more information on this thread of possible sources of contamination or toxic materials. I didn't know toluene was added to carpet. Have you thought about having it removed from your bedroom and putting down bamboo flooring instead? Was the paint you used considered low VOC? I find it really upsetting that so many companies are using chemicals in products for everyday use, but also not being 100% transparent about it either. I hope you feel better soon! Please continue to update I find the information your sharing really valuable.

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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 19 Jul 2021 18:55 #33

  • Ardillamente
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Ardillamente,

I didn't know toluene was added to carpet. Have you thought about having it removed from your bedroom and putting down bamboo flooring instead? Was the paint you used considered low VOC? I find it really upsetting that so many companies are using chemicals in products for everyday use, but also not being 100% transparent about it either.


Yes, both toluene and xylene were found in very small amounts in our air from the test, (each were about 6 or 7 parts per billion). Both of these are found in the glue used under the carpet pad. In regards to getting better materials in my bedroom, I got the carpet replaced with a VOC free kind that doesn't have any glue used, so the old pad glue was carefully scraped off and the concrete was vacuumed. I already had low VOC paint in my room, but I had it re-painted over with VOC free primer and paint of the same color, (the paint company wasn't sure if the old paint would continue to off-gas through the new primer and paint though). I was hoping that this would help, and to test it I made sure to keep my door closed at all times and closed the air vent to the room. I aired out the room through the windows as much as I could for a couple weeks and there was no difference whatsoever in my nightly eye swelling during that period.

Another theory I have is that even though I may have rid the house of a lot of the VOCs already with the new air purifier in the last few days (which seems to be the case since my coughing is now almost completely gone), I believe my mattress and topper may have absorbed a huge amount of the VOCs like a toxic sponge, which may be causing my chronic eye swelling upon waking up in the morning after having slept on that bed. I slept in our living room for months on an air mattress since the swelling seemed to be quite a bit better when doing that. Another thing I noticed is that even though I am preferably a stomach sleeper about 80 or 90% of the time, if I sleep on my side the swelling didn't seem to be nearly as bad as if I sleep on my stomach. However after washing all of my sheets, blankets and pillow cases, and trying to air out the topper the best I could with fans and the purifier close by on high a couple days ago, my swelling is now worse than ever, whether I sleep on my side or stomach. This seems to backup my idea that the topper is contaminated with concentrated VOCs; probably in the form of ethanol like the air quality test indicated, and all I did by trying to draw them out was stir them up and make things worse.

I may very well have to bust out the air mattress again here soon and see if I can get some relief from the swelling. As of the last week or so, the swelling is now accompanied by redness and itching. This means I now have excessive tearing, stinging, swelling, redness and itching in my eyes. I may also try to go see some kind of eye specialist here soon and see what they say. I figure an eye doctor might be able to help me deal with the symptoms, even if they can't tell me what the exact cause is.

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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 28 Jul 2021 07:00 #34

This is a really interesting thread. I am new here, shopping for a new mattress. This topic caught my eye because of my reaction to chemical odors. A couple of years ago when my current mattress began to show signs of sagging, I purchased a memory foam topper, to try to extend its life. The odor emitting from the topper was so toxic that I couldn't tolerate it. I brought it downstairs and laid it on my dining room table to air out. Since I still couldn't tolerate the odor I brought it outside (we have a screened in porch) and laid it on that table. It sat there for two weeks until the odor finally dissipated. I had to do the same thing with my new pillows. I then purchased a dustmite proof zippered encasing which encloses the topper and the pillows. Now I am ready for a new mattress, and clearly I will not be able to air it out on my porch for two weeks. So instead of memory foam, I am looking for latex, wondering if there will still be an odor.
I also cannot tolerate the odors in new carpeting, I cannot even walk into a carpet store. I can meander into the carpet department at Home Depot for a few minutes, but a regular carpet store make my throat close up. The last time we purchased new carpeting was for my basement in 2001 and I had to run fans, open windows and air out the basement before I could tolerate going down there. I cannot even imagine buying new carpeting for my bedroom, and at this point it really needs it. My bedroom carpeting is 29 years old.

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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 31 Jul 2021 13:53 #35

  • Sensei
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Hey amyhlr,

Welcome to The Mattress Underground :) !

This is a really interesting thread. I am new here, shopping for a new mattress. This topic caught my eye because of my reaction to chemical odors. A couple of years ago when my current mattress began to show signs of sagging, I purchased a memory foam topper, to try to extend its life. The odor emitting from the topper was so toxic that I couldn't tolerate it. I brought it downstairs and laid it on my dining room table to air out. Since I still couldn't tolerate the odor I brought it outside (we have a screened in porch) and laid it on that table. It sat there for two weeks until the odor finally dissipated. I had to do the same thing with my new pillows. I then purchased a dustmite proof zippered encasing which encloses the topper and the pillows. Now I am ready for a new mattress, and clearly I will not be able to air it out on my porch for two weeks.


Congrats on your new mattress shopping adventure :) ! What type mattress is your current mattress and how old is it? When you say that your mattress began sagging a couple of years ago, did you determine whether the sag was within the mattress itself or a problem with the foundation? What size mattress will you be purchasing and what is your budget? Are you considering an all-latex mattress or a latex hybrid?

So instead of memory foam, I am looking for latex, wondering if there will still be an odor.


As you likely know, latex rubber is made from either Natural Rubber or SBR, a synthetic raw material. People have varying sensitivities to new latex odor. Some describe it as a sweet, slightly vanilla-like scent, others say it has a rubber-like odor, while some don't detect any fragrance to speak of. If your concerns are more about VOC's/ safety, testing standards such as Oeko-Tex and Eco-Institut are the most important certifications for latex to carry, and the manufacturer is responsible for providing these tests. All latex (synthetic, natural, or blended) that you are likely to find from reputable sources has been tested for harmful substances and VOC's and certified as "safe" by one of these testing facilities, so safety shouldn't be a concern for most people.

I also cannot tolerate the odors in new carpeting, I cannot even walk into a carpet store. I can meander into the carpet department at Home Depot for a few minutes, but a regular carpet store make my throat close up. The last time we purchased new carpeting was for my basement in 2001 and I had to run fans, open windows and air out the basement before I could tolerate going down there. I cannot even imagine buying new carpeting for my bedroom, and at this point it really needs it. My bedroom carpeting is 29 years old.


Agreed, Amy; I totally get what you're saying here as a fellow VOC-sensitive person. Co-existing with new carpeting can be a nightmare for those suffering from these issues and you have my complete empathy when you begin that task. Mine too will need replacing in another 5 years and I am already filled with dread remembering how difficult that process can be. Good luck with your new latex mattress research and keep us updated when you can… ;) .

Thanks,
Sensei
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
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