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100% Natural Talalay Latex 14 Apr 2016 15:57 #41

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You have be extremely helpful. Thanks so much.

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100% Natural Talalay Latex 15 Apr 2016 17:38 #42

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Sorry such a long time to respond to this thread, I wanted to clarify in detail why I stated that Organic Certifications are not all they are cracked up to be. I was away on the road watching the thread unfold and simply did not want to do this on my mobile.

Regarding safety/toxicity:
As has been touched on in good detail by Phoenix already; Organic Certifications do not actually entail chemical analysis of the end products. In some cases like GOLS labeling it would be required to know that no SBR rubber or other kind of synthetic polymer material is in the final mix, interestingly enough if GOLS wanted to know this information they would need the product tested by a polymer specialist like say ECO-Institut.

Most people associate the term Organic with it somehow meaning the product is safe. Safety is an issue of the chemical content of the product, and the chemical content of a product needs to be quantified by a lab qualified to do the testing, so with different standards and different criteria we have testing available say by Oeko-Tex, Eco-Insitut, or C2C, even Certi-PUR (which is strictly for polyurethane foams to my knowledge). Without knowing the chemical content of something to a high degree of certainty it seems silly to label something organic as being safe just because organic methods are practiced. This may sound like a crazy analogy but perhaps it would be possible to get some Organic Opium grown on Organic Poppy Fields in Afghanistan. So while I am not in anyway implying that organic certified products are somehow un-safe I just want to make a clear distinction here.

There is a common myth that if a molecule is found in nature it is healthy, my above example shows this not to be the case. If we can synthesize the same molecule in a lab it is technically identical to that found in nature. The toxicity level of any substance lies in the dosage. The word toxin gets thrown around like a buzzword these days on all sorts of media and while its no laughing matter the level of danger to general public is likely overrated. Take for instance a specific chemical that is used in many products 'formaldehyde' or aldehydes (many different ones). It is used in many adhesives, it is also used as a fire retardant chemical in certain applications, it sounds nasty. But here is the thing...we also produce formaldehyde in our own bodies just in small amounts. The human body has the ability to rid itself of this chemical, it is true that if the levels of formaldehyde in our body become too high it becomes toxic but again it is the dosage that determines this. Now where this stuff maybe *could* be an issue for some people is that I can imagine a common scenario in which someone just moved into a brand new home, they have new paint, new carpets, new underlay, new mattress, new chair in the corner, closed in space like a bedroom that doesn't get a lot of airflow, all of these things releasing various VOC's in higher amounts due to recently being made this probably isn't the healthiest air someone could be breathing in. So I don't want to make light of this subject, just shine a little light on it.

There are companies that make claims that their products are VOC free, there is no such thing. That is an un-scientific claim. If we read actual lab test results for VOC's it is usually shown what the 'detection-limit' of their equipment is. This may be listed as PPM (parts per million) or PPB (parts per billion). So if the machine has a detection limit of 200PPM (and they all have detection limits) they cannot say for certain that this particular VOC does not exist, just that it is below the detection limit. Based on the known effects of various VOC's the level of the VOC's then has a safety limit where they know that below another threshold these chemicals pose no threat. Organic certifications again simply do not carry out these kinds of tests. It simply has to do with processing or 'cross-contamination'.

Commonly it is believed that organic farming means absolutely no pesticides used in production. I am sure there are farms and farmers that do not use pesticides or herbicides of any kind however this is simply not guaranteed by most organic certifications. USDA Organic farmed produce actually does commonly use pesticides on the crops, they simply have a restricted list of approved pesticides for production. Maybe this is a good thing but in the interest of transparency and that's really what these certifications are supposed to be about it seems to be that this is somewhat misleading to the public based on common public belief for what organic actually means.

Consider also the fiscal cost of these programs, I am sure many of us have gone to a local farmers market and bought 'organically' grown produce from local farmers that do not have a certificate for the product but insist they have been growing it such a way for decades, maybe a small farm that cannot justify the cost of pursuing a certificate. To be fair its not that the certificate magically makes their produce any healthier after obtaining this. Now of course some of these people might also be lying, but there is ultimately a point where you are going to have to trust someone and make a buying decision. Consider the cost of Radium to build an entirely new Talalay production facility where they exclusively handle the organic raw latex so they can get this specific certificate. Who is going to bear the cost of this expensive new facility? The consumer will, the cost is always ultimately falling on their shoulders. Now consider the fact that GOLS independently does not test the finished product for VOC's and actual chemical content analysis. Imagine going through this massive expense and then actually hiring a lab to test both of their natural talalay latex foams only to find virtually no difference in the actual chemical content of one versus another. Again knowing that it is the chemical content itself which is supposed to make some difference in our apparent safety as the consumer. Where does the buck stop? To me a lot of this obsession is creating a form of phony bureaucracy that is over complicating the process of building safe and high quality products for people that ultimately is raising the price.

So I am all for organic certifications in the interest of transparency, but even then this can be on somewhat murky ground depending on who is doing the certifying. And while I agree that there are a lot of people in the public that care about these things, its based on good intentions and emotional appeal, not always a full understanding of how chemistry works. Due to a lack of general scientific literacy I feel that these certifications are indeed overrated. There are a lot of companies and organizations cashing in based on fear mongering tactics by making people afraid for their own health and safety. And while I advocate for chemical safety I just feel that marketing behind this needs some oversight. Please bear in mind that our business carries almost exclusively natural products many of which have various organic certificates. I have more to gain from fear mongering than 99% of businesses that exist I just think its a greasy underhanded tactic to use fear to drive sales. We promote natural materials in mattresses based on performance and function and a better nights sleep which there is legitimate science to back up these kinds of claims. We feel that it is a bonus that our products do contain less VOC's than the norm but that should not be the main focus. I would argue that to me personally I would rather a fair trade certificate that guarantees no child labor and fair prices to the workers is much more important than an organic certification as there is actually a proven benefit to this. C2C in this case actually covers this aspect much more thoroughly than any organic certification and they require some thorough chemical analysis which automatically gives this certificate more credibility.

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100% Natural Talalay Latex 15 Apr 2016 19:23 #43

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Hi Daniel,

Yes I do agree with you that the 100% Natural Talalay latex certified under the C2C Gold certification is a safe and exceptional product.

You may see the C2C as a superior certificate as it tests for VOC content, as the GOLS Organic certification does not. However both GOLS and C2C assess environmental and labor parameters. Organic manufacturers have to get a second independent certification from eco-INSTITUT to indicate VOC levels, which is commonly done in the industry.

However GOLS does test for "content" which C2C does not. If you are advertising a product as 100% Natural Talalay Latex, wouldn't it be in your best interest, to have a certification that confirms the content of what you are selling?

If one is advertising the product as being natural, then their is no issue here. When your product contains a certain percentage of natural materials, it can be labeled as "natural". However if your promoting 100% Natural Talalay latex "content" how can you be sure, you are getting what you paid for?

I'm not here to debate the safety of the performance of the 100% Natural Talalay latex as this thread has already made this clear. But simply, want to bring attention to the fact, that if no test are done to evaluate content, how does the consumer know with certainty what he is buying? How does he know he's not buying a blended or synthetic latex?

I hope in the future, manufacturers will find a way to label or identify the latex they are selling, to make the purchasing process easier and more transparent for consumers.

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Last edit: by MFC. Reason: added sentence

100% Natural Talalay Latex 15 Apr 2016 21:35 #44

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When it comes to content in the sense of the polymer mixture (natural/synthetic) Eco Institut does this testing and Radium does have the certificate for it: www.vitatalalay.com/certified/

Before GOLS came around recently pretty much every reputable natural latex manufacturer was Eco Institut certified. So my point is that the Organic Certificate does nothing to expound on this fact. If I am a bit ignorant of the social aspect of the GOLS certificate I must make amends for this as I wish to be accurate. Their page is somewhat vague about what this means, there is a snippet about 'social compliance' controlunion.com/en/services/certifications/sustainability/gols-global-organic-latex-standard

As Phoenix has mentioned GOLS standard for rubber purity that is how much of the foam is actually natural latex is 95% which is a great standard as there always has to be vulcanization agents. However the remaining 5% can be any combination of non-banned chemicals. Eco Institut testing does testing not only on polymer content but a staggering long list of other chemicals. Again I am not saying organic certificates do not have their place, just that I feel they are unfairly weighted in comparison to legitimate comprehensive chemical analysis which is much more valid in terms of safety which is what people are led to believe they are getting when they pay for the organic premium.

I definitely appreciate your nuanced look at this as a whole though :) I think we are atleast in agreement that certificates of some kind are good compared to any unchecked claim as anyone can claim anything. It is independent verification that gives credibility to the claims. I am sure it may seem I am being very nit-picky and I apologize if I come across as being difficult; I make the long post in part because I know from a lot of experiences with my customers that come into the store and I ask them a silly question about 'why' they want organic it boils down to safety, and a little bit of information here can arm people to make good choices if they are also on a limited budget, not everyone can afford 100% certified organic mattresses for every single material (wool, cotton, latex, etc) or if they can for some people that may not always be the most comfortable or appropriate mattress for them based on other criteria. limited budget often meaning they are buying the thinnest organic mattress by default which can severely limit their options in comfort. Lest we all forget that the restorative power of a good nights sleep still be the healthiest part of owning any good mattress and that maintaining good spinal health is paramount.

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100% Natural Talalay Latex 18 Apr 2016 10:59 #45

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Hi Daniel and MFC Memory Foam Comfort,

However GOLS does test for "content" which C2C does not. If you are advertising a product as 100% Natural Talalay Latex, wouldn't it be in your best interest, to have a certification that confirms the content of what you are selling?

If one is advertising the product as being natural, then their is no issue here. When your product contains a certain percentage of natural materials, it can be labeled as "natural". However if your promoting 100% Natural Talalay latex "content" how can you be sure, you are getting what you paid for?


Eco Institut testing does testing not only on polymer content but a staggering long list of other chemicals.


Even though it doesn't show in the certificate itself ... as Daniel mentioned Eco Institut does test for the natural/sythetic polymer content and they also test for fillers as well.

Just for reference ... I've attached the parts of the report for their 100% natural Talalay that shows that it only contains natural rubber and that there are also no fillers in their latex.

Phoenix



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100% Natural Talalay Latex 18 Apr 2016 15:17 #46

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Hi Phoenix,

Thank you for the detailed information, I have learned a lot from this post!

Now to recapitulate, the only certified 100% natural latex products on the market are (please correct me if you know of any other sources)

1-Vitatalaly: C2C Certified for VOC’s, environment, and labor parameters.
eco-INSTITUT Certified for purity content of 100% natural rubber, with no fillers in their latex

2-Organic Dunlop Latex: GOLS Certified for purity content of 95% Organic latex (natural) and covers environmental & labor parameters.
To meet the same requirements as Vitatalaly, it must also be tested by an independent laboratory such as eco-INSTITUT for VOC’s

Question:
Does the Talalay Global (formerly Latex International) have a similar certification that shows that their 100% natural Talalay only contains natural rubber and that there are also no fillers in their latex?

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100% Natural Talalay Latex 18 Apr 2016 15:48 #47

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Question:
Does the Talalay Global (formerly Latex International) have a similar certification that shows that their 100% natural Talalay only contains natural rubber and that there are also no fillers in their latex?

PTB doesn't produce a "natural" line any longer. When they did, it contained fillers. I'm not sure if TG is still producing a "natural" product on their component side.
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100% Natural Talalay Latex 18 Apr 2016 16:00 #48

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Hi MFC Memory Foam Comfort,

Now to recapitulate, the only certified 100% natural latex products on the market are (please correct me if you know of any other sources)

1-Vitatalaly: C2C Certified for VOC’s, environment, and labor parameters.
eco-INSTITUT Certified for purity content of 100% natural rubber, with no fillers in their latex

2-Organic Dunlop Latex: GOLS Certified for purity content of 95% Organic latex (natural) and covers environmental & labor parameters.
To meet the same requirements as Vitatalaly, it must also be tested by an independent laboratory such as eco-INSTITUT for VOC’s


Eco-Institut also tests for 100% natural latex so there are also many other manufacturers that produce 100% natural Dunlop latex products that aren't GOLS certified but are Eco-Institut certified that use only natural rubber. QUL also includes a certification for natural rubber and harmful substances.

Outside of the certifications mentioned in post #2 here (and I will be adding C2C shortly) ... Oeko-Tex also has some additional certifications here that also certify for environmental and social issues and FSC also has a certification that includes environmental and social issues and the Rainforest Alliance also includes biodiversity and social issues and Eurolatex Eco Standard also includes a certification for harmful substances and VOCs and TUVRheinland also has a certification for harmful substances and VOC's and there are a few others as well but these are much less common in the mattress industry.
ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: oeko-tex.com/en/manufacturers/concept/concept_start.html

Question:
Does the Talalay Global (formerly Latex International) have a similar certification that shows that their 100% natural Talalay only contains natural rubber and that there are also no fillers in their latex?


Talalay Global makes a 100% natural Talalay product that doesn't use any synthetic latex in the formulation but to my knowledge they don't have an actual certification that will "prove" it. They also use some fillers in their latex so they probably wouldn't meet the criteria for certifications such as GOLS or Eco-Institut. They are Oeko-Tex standard 100 Class 2 certified for harmful substances and VOC's.
ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: .oeko-tex.com/en/manufacturers/product_classes/product_classes.html

Phoenix
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