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outgassing 29 Jan 2015 08:21 #11

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Hi SallyS,

The article you linked is mostly about furniture that tends to use fire retardant foams while mattresses tend to use inherent fire barriers and not fire retardant foams.

I know that this is a very controversial subject and brings up strong emotions but I have seen a great deal of information on both sides of the argument that has been greatly exaggerated or inaccurate from "fear mongering" on the one side to "everything is fine" on the other.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

outgassing 29 Jan 2015 12:13 #12

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While I don't consider it particularly 'controversial', the facts are in and information is what a consumer needs in order to be satisfied and properly served. Choice is personal, but since the OP asked about this in particular - this link may be more direct.

debralynndadd.com/q-a/simmons-beautyrest-mattresses-are-free-of-some-toxic-chemicals-but-not-all/

debralynndadd.com/q-a/certipur-us-polyurethane-foam/

It may not be the foam that you smell.

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outgassing 29 Jan 2015 12:33 #13

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Hi Sally,

While I don't consider it particularly 'controversial', the facts are in and information is what a consumer needs in order to be satisfied and properly served. Choice is personal, but since the OP asked about this in particular - this link may be more direct.

debralynndadd.com/q-a/simmons-beautyrest...emicals-but-not-all/

debralynndadd.com/q-a/certipur-us-polyurethane-foam/

It may not be the foam that you smell.


Unfortunately the facts are anything but in which is the reason for most of the controversy, exaggerations, and misleading information on so many of the websites that you will read. The industry is anything but transparent about the specifics of most of the materials in their mattresses.

There is also no such thing as "no VOC's" in any material since all materials will emit more than background levels of VOC's which is the criteria that the FTC uses for claims of "no VOC's". Some of the more toxic VOC's also have no odor and some that have a stronger smell (which are VOC's) aren't harmful at all (such as natural rubber or natural wool).

You are correct that it may not be the foam that someone smells but it's by far the most likely source of odor issues in a mattress.

Overly broad statements such as this ...

By contract, organic cotton, for example, has NO emissions. I don’t want to sleep on a LOW emission mattress. When you see that phrase “low emissions” it means there are emissions of toxic chemicals. Certainly there might be less toxic chemicals than other mattresses, but it’s more emissions than natural fibers.


..just aren't "factual" because VOC's aren't all "toxic" and don't all have an odor and it only serves to confuse the issue because of the lack of specifics.

Phoenix
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outgassing 30 Jan 2015 10:27 #14

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Not trying to stir up things, agree much more transparency needed.

Some of us can't tolerate the smell of organic cotton batting :)

To the OP - if you can't return the mattress, you can speed up the outgassing process by heating up the room - then air it out, just don't be in there. Set your thermostat high, leave for several hours - then air out well. Just moving the air with a fan won't accomplish much without the windows open.

You can look for a barrier cloth cover, some are heavy woven cotton and others are made of polyethelene - again personal circumstances and choice. Just trying to help - but the bottom line is if it bothers you then take steps to change that.


Check the tag on the mattress to see if it meets CA standards -

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outgassing 30 Jan 2015 11:26 #15

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Hi Sally,

Not trying to stir up things, agree much more transparency needed.


I also think that transparency is the key so that consumers can make more informed choices and regulations such as California Prop 65 is a big step in the right direction. There is a great deal of resistance in the chemical industry to complete transparency because there are so many potential liability issues involved. There are many synthetic materials that are completely safe but there are also many others that are questionable at best but most people tend to confuse "chemical" with "toxic" and paint with a very broad brush.

You can look for a barrier cloth cover, some are heavy woven cotton and others are made of polyethelene - again personal circumstances and choice. Just trying to help - but the bottom line is if it bothers you then take steps to change that.


Barrier cloths can be effective for allergens and small particulates but they aren't an effective barrier for VOC's which will go right through the cloth.

To "block" VOC's you would either need clear polyethylene plastic that is about 5 - 6 mils thick (which is synthetic but is a very "safe" material) or an activated carbon blanket such as these .

Phoenix
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