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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 01 Oct 2020 07:04 #21

  • diynaturalbedding
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A couple health related thoughts.

Eye twitching can most certainly be caused by stress, but also by Vitamin D and B deficiencies. We have seen supplementation help in my family for this.

VOC's or not, anyone can develop allergic reactions to proteins or even just chemical sensitivities. Have heard of the bucket analogy with allergies? The idea is if your bucket is already full of sensitivities that you do or don't realize you have, i,e. gluten, corn, mold, environmental, etc, then all it takes is one dusting of fresh pollen or one memory foam mattress to tip that bucket over and give you very noticeable symptoms. It might be worth getting some blood tests to see what is in your bucket. For example, I have filtered my water for years with an Aquasauna filter, but my recent blood tests came back high in arsenic, which is most commonly found in city water. Yikes! Sometimes you don't know what else your body is dealing with.

Chemical sensitivity is no joke. I have people calling me saying they can only sleep on cardboard or organic cotton fabric (if their partner washes it first in their own detergent), people getting burns on their skin from someone's hand with recently applied lotion on it touching them on top of their clothing. You have stumbled into a big world and I hope you get to leave it soon.

I happen to know the girl in this story: kellythekitchenkop.com/is-your-mattress-toxic/. Her story started with a mattress and led her to only eating raw meat so that her body could heal. I disagree with her concept that you cannot get a toxic free mattress, as I think I have some very natural components that could meet such a need, but clearly mainstream mattresses were too much for her.

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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 25 Oct 2020 11:09 #22

  • Ardillamente
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So I've realized something major with this whole predicament of mine. The memory foam mattress was definitely the catalyst that set me off in the beginning. After all this time I'm positive any VOC's left behind from the mattress are gone now. We also got new carpeting in the whole house about 6 months ago, minus the kitchen and dining room/ bathrooms. When we first got the carpet I noticed for the first couple nights trying to sleep in my room that the smell was very strong and unpleasant, so I just opened the windows. After that the smell was gone and everything seemed ok.

Once I got the memory foam mattress and was sent over the top by that and then got rid of it, the carpet has to be what's keeping me so messed up. I'm in my computer room right now, it's one of the worst places in the house for the carpet off-gassing. I still can't sleep in my bedroom, or any of the bedrooms in the house since those rooms and this computer room are smaller with lower ceilings and less circulation. We even just had our new carpet steam cleaned to try and help remove the VOC's..... no effect, my burning eyes are worse than ever.

My coughing is also worse than ever, and I'm even having some difficulty breathing and labored heartbeats; my heart beat just feels harder and more noticeable than it should. I traced the company that makes the exact carpet we bought. Many of the carpets sold by the store we bought ours from are made by brands that are "VOC free". The one we bought is not one of them...... if we had any idea this was a risk when buying this brand of carpet we wouldn't have done it.

Both the seller and the manufacturer are to blame. The manufacturer puts toxic chemicals in the bonding agent that connects the carpet fibers to the mat because it is the most efficient method, and the seller should know this and inform the buyer so they can have all the information about what they're buying before they make a decision. These chemicals, which can be found listed on websites about carpet VOC's are so toxic that they've been banned in Europe, but for some reason the good 'ol USA still allows companies to get away with knowingly selling products to people that contain known carcinogens.

So here I am, stuck with a poisonous carpet that cost about $10k and we have to keep it. My parents aren't exhibiting symptoms like I am so they don't want to bother getting rid of it. The companies that sell this crap to people are getting away with it because the people in situations like mine who have adverse reactions either don't make the connection, or if they do they're not doing anything about it. This will be my last post here, since it's really no longer a mattress related topic. I just wanted anyone following my story to know all the details.

What I took away from all of this (even though ironically it's too late for it to matter), is that you should always do extensive research before any major purchases. Companies are selling downright toxic and poisonous products to the American people everyday just to make a bigger profit or make a more stable product. If you are ever going to buy a new mattress or carpet, or get your house painted, or buy furniture..... find out everything you can about the potential VOC content of what you're going to buy and don't make the same huge mistake we did in my home.

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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 25 Oct 2020 13:35 #23

  • Mr yabo
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Very I informative post, thanks ☺

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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 26 Oct 2020 23:05 #24

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Hi Ardillamente.

Thanks for the update! It’s good to hear the VOCs from the memory foam mattress are gone, but not too good t6ht you need to live with carpet VOC’s. It sounds like the mattress VOCs were the ones to “tip your bucket” as it were.

DIY Natural Bedding has an analogy I like: if your “bucket” is already full of sensitivities that you do or don't realize you have (gluten, corn, mold, environmental, etc.), then all it takes is one dusting of fresh pollen or the wrong foam (for you) in a mattress to tip that bucket over and which most likely resulted in your eye irritation and symptoms you described. It sounds like this is what happened in your case. You were already “full” from the VOCs in your new carpeting, and the mattress tipped the bucket and started this saga that continues long after the mattress is gone.

Both the seller and the manufacturer are to blame. The manufacturer puts toxic chemicals in the bonding agent that connects the carpet fibers to the mat because it is the most efficient method, and the seller should know this and inform the buyer so they can have all the information about what they're buying before they make a decision. These chemicals, which can be found listed on websites about carpet VOC's are so toxic that they've been banned in Europe, but for some reason the good 'ol USA still allows companies to get away with knowingly selling products to people that contain known carcinogens.


You are absolutely right. This very lack of disclosing and transparency largely missing in the mattress (and furniture) industry is one of the reasons The Mattress Underground started. The consumer is paying hard worked money and deserves to be educated up front. Unfortunately, in many cases, a great part of the budget is spent on marketing stories instead of increasing product quality. Like you many consumers find it very disheartening to have to hunt down each bit of information. that may or may not have an effect on their wellbeing.

So here I am, stuck with a poisonous carpet that cost about $10k and we have to keep it. My parents aren't exhibiting symptoms like I am so they don't want to bother getting rid of it. The companies that sell this crap to people are getting away with it because the people in situations like mine who have adverse reactions either don't make the connection, or if they do they're not doing anything about it. This will be my last post here, since it's really no longer a mattress related topic. I just wanted anyone following my story to know all the details.


I wonder if, at the very least, they’d be willing to swap out the carpet in your room? We definitely appreciate you sharing your story here. If you eventually do find a solution to the VOCs in the carpet, please return and share!

What I took away from all of this (even though ironically it's too late for it to matter), is that you should always do extensive research before any major purchases. Companies are selling downright toxic and poisonous products to the American people everyday just to make a bigger profit or make a more stable product. If you are ever going to buy a new mattress or carpet, or get your house painted, or buy furniture..... find out everything you can about the potential VOC content of what you're going to buy and don't make the same huge mistake we did in my home.


Your experience is truly worth sharing, too bad that you had to find it the hard way. The insights gained can help for the rest of your life in future purchases, when moving into your own place, as you say …furniture, mattresses, paints, etc. It’s regrettable that you have to live with the carpet VOCs in the meantime, though. I really do hope that you’ll be able to find a solution and some relief.

Phoenix
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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 27 Oct 2020 08:43 #25

  • Ardillamente
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Yeah when I first read DIY Natural Bedding's post I was thinking nah, that's probably not the case with me, but you're right I think he hit the nail on the head. Of course it seems like my whole bucket is full of just 2 things; VOC's from 2 different products.

A couple days ago I sent my 2nd e-mail to the company that makes the carpet. They haven't responded to me but they apparently called the company that sold us the carpet. I just got off the phone with them and they said they had another customer have a very similar reaction to the same carpeting. In that person's case it turned out to be a Toluene allergy. This may or may not be the same problem for me but there's still hopeful news. The company that sold us the carpet ended up replacing the other customer's carpet pad once they confirmed the Toluene allergy. I have an appointment with an Allergist on November 10th anyway, so maybe I can find out from them if I'm allergic to the same stuff.

If not, since I'm obviously having a major reaction to something in the carpet, it seems very likely that they're going to work with me. Sadly, this isn't out of the good of their hearts, it's out of fear of a lawsuit. I had been starting to consider trying to get in touch with a law firm too, so their fears are justified. It's not completely ideal for me to accept their "payoff" of replacing our carpet potentially for free and ignoring the fact that they're still selling this toxic stuff and getting away with it, but if it gets this stuff out of my house then I'll take the deal. That's just another way these companies continue to keep selling chemical laden products and getting away with it. They know having to replace the carpets for free in one home is far better than facing a lawsuit that could cost them millions or even put them out of business. Now that I've got the ball rolling I'm not going to stop until this is resolved one way or another. So many people in my situation would have just given up but I refuse to accept living with toxic substances in my home, for my sake and my parents'.

Once again I'll keep you guys posted when there's more progress.

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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 13 Jul 2021 21:08 #26

  • pennylo
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I'm so sorry to hear about the VOC's. I've become sensitive to VOC's in the past couple years, so I can commiserate. They're everywhere, especially in (traditional) mattresses and carpet. Something I've come across in my research is [url=Austin Air]Austin AirAustin Air[/url]'s Healthmate Plus. It was specifically designed to deal with VOC's for people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. It's an investment, but from what I can tell so far, a solid long-term one. I recently got the Austin Air Bedroom Machine and it's been working great for me. Again, not sure if this is helpful, but just throwing it out there just in case. Also, there's a site My Chemical Free House that could be a helpful resource. It's been a while since you posted -- I hope you have found some sort of resolution and are doing better.

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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 14 Jul 2021 14:53 #27

  • Ardillamente
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Thanks for the information. I haven't posted in a while because I realized it was not a mattress issue. What I've learned since then is still interesting, and could be helpful information for people looking into any type of situation related to VOCs from all sources. We had an air quality test and it revealed high levels of ethanol in our house. The ethanol is definitely off-gassing from some component of the carpet, flooring or paint we got last year. For a little while we thought it might be a mold problem and not VOCs, after we had the A/C company say they saw bacterial buildup in our air ducts, which could also be a mold issue. Turns out they were mistaken, we had a mold inspection and have ordinary mold spore counts for Florida and no visible mold in the air ducting.

Back to the ethanol.... it's a nasty little loophole I've fallen into. Ethanol is not considered a toxic substance under the guidelines for the "Green Label" certification for paints and carpeting/ flooring, therefore the companies that make these products are not required to give any information on ethanol content in their materials. The ethanol was the only contaminant in our air quality assessment and it was right around 530 parts per billion, which doesn't sound like much but anything over 400 PPB is considered a dangerously high amount for a chemical substance in the air. For comparison, nothing else was present in the air over about 7 PPB.

I've just purchased a $1000 Airpura 26 pound activated carbon air purifier (F600 DLX series). It is one of the highest recommended purifiers for VOCs, with the 26 pound carbon pad. It's only been here for a few days now so I assume it will probably take at least a week or a few weeks to make a noticeable difference in my symptoms, so I have my fingers crossed it will help me quite a bit. My medical symptoms are worse than ever as of now though, major swelling under my eyes all the time, burning in the right eye whenever in my house, huge bags under my eyes when waking up in the morning that halfway go away during the day only to return every morning, coughing, and now wheezing and even consistently darkened urine.

I did see a doctor and got a urinalysis and according to that I'm just fine, so that was a slight relief. I am only a 33 year old man and I'm in great shape physically, I've been doing martial arts for about 25 years and I hike in the woods a few times a week with my dad, (yes even in the Florida summer heat haha). We normally do about 5-8 miles per hike. Getting out of the house is the only time my right eye doesn't burn, and the only way to guarantee I won't cough, so the less time I spend in here the better, at least until the purifier starts to make a difference.

So that's about it for where I am now in this extremely frustrating and uncomfortable ordeal. I'll post again sometime in the next month or so and let everyone know if I've noticed improvements since using the purifier.

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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 14 Jul 2021 15:21 #28

  • Marshmallowforme
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Where/how do you get an air test? What sort of company did you find? Was it one you did yourself and sent in a canister? Please elaborate as I would love to do this in some secondary bedrooms where we installed carpet.

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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 16 Jul 2021 12:00 #29

  • Ardillamente
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I read about the do-it-yourself air sample canisters you can send in, but most information about that seemed to indicate that it wasn't thorough enough. We had a professional company called Air M.D. come and set up a large air gathering device that ran for about 3 or 4 hours then they came and picked it back up and sent the results to a lab. They later e-mailed us the detailed results and also talked to me on the phone about the details of the report so I could better understand it. It was a bit pricy, around $500 but I got the paint company to pay the bill.

I'm now considering contacting a law firm to see if I have a case against the paint company, since the ethanol source is most likely from the paint and not the flooring or carpeting, according to my extensive research. Sure enough, "paints" were listed under potential causes of ethanol off-gassing. I presented that to the paint company and they said they'd have to get with someone in the company to ask about the ethanol content. I had to call them back again myself and their official response was a supposedly relayed message from their technical specialist through the customer relations guy, that "Our paints don't contain ethanol". In other words they just expected me to take their indirect word for it after all that time. They also wouldn't allow me to directly communicate with their tech person.

All seems very suspicious to me. If all of my symptoms don't clear up in the next month or so I'll definitely at least find out if I have a case worth exploring with all of this. Problem is though, I'm sure it will require extensive and expensive lab testing of materials, and medical tests for me as well, such as a chemical allergy panel which I'm told can be extremely costly.

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I need advice on how to get rid of VOCs even after removing memory foam mattress 18 Jul 2021 16:37 #30

  • diynaturalbedding
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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.

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