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Hyper sensitivity to chemicals both natural & organic 23 Sep 2021 12:16 #1

  • Helpful hoosier
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My only living relative has an unpredictable hyper sensitivity to flame retardants and most any type of irritants. She uses nothing but dish soap and green cleaner for windows; no bleach no laundry detergents or cleaners of any kind.

What we seek to know is, is there a mattress with absence of irritants??

She’s not able to sleep in her brand new apartment home since purchasing an adjustable frame and mattress, a fully reclining leather chair, and reclining love seat. All of which she was told were designed and marketed for chemically sensitive people. She naps outside to minimize irritation to skin and respiratory system.

Unfortunately, we haven’t found good & clear information on furniture & mattress manufactures that truly know what goes in or on their materials. We’re glad to be here in your forum. Any guidance would be a blessing. Her quality of life is suffering because her hands constantly itch, burn and turn red.

Looking forward to reply.

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Hyper sensitivity to chemicals both natural & organic 25 Sep 2021 11:45 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi Helpful hoosier,

Welcome to our mattress forum! :)

Unfortunately, we haven’t found good & clear information on furniture & mattress manufactures that truly know what goes in or on their materials. We’re glad to be here in your forum. Any guidance would be a blessing. Her quality of life is suffering because her hands constantly itch, burn and turn red.

Some people are more sensitive and are affected more by certain types of materials. The issue is identifying which materials she reacts to. Generally, more sensitive people can reduce the chances that they would be sensitive to a particular type of material by making sure that it has a certification for harmful substances and VOC's but even here you will sometimes find that some people are more sensitive to certain materials even if they are certified. This would be more common with memory foam which has the most chemicals, less common with polyfoam, and least common of all with latex (see here and here and here ).

You'd want to have an evaluation by a healthcare professional to ascertain what your relative may be reacting to, as unless you've had a previous positive diagnosis …. her reaction could be to something other than the fire retardant, including some of the chemicals used to make the foams. E.g. you can see this Latex allergies factsheet

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from latexalergyresources.org which ]describes the differences between the sensitivities (and allergy) that can happen with latex. Did she determine if she has MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity which in broad terms can be defined as hypersensitivity or allergy-like reactions to different kinds of pollutants such as VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds), solvents, petrol, diesel, perfumes, smoke, "chemicals". Often an MCS individual also tends to react to pet fur & dander, pollen, house dust mites, and.

Does your relative has any sensitives to latex, wool, and other natural materials? What bed type did she sleep on before purchasing the new mattress? Did she try to pinpoint which of the furniture she recently purchased triggers her irritation? Is she able to remove all but one of the new items to test this? What type of FR does her new mattress has and did her old mattress have an FR?

What we seek to know is, is there a mattress with absence of irritants??

I am afraid that when it comes to chemical sensitivities for individuals that are “hypersensitive” like your relative is, it boils down to a great deal of research and also identifying her sensitivity threshold for specific materials, and substances in their composition. I would keep in mind that every mattress in the industry contains some type of chemicals and even pure water is a chemical . (H2O, covalent molecule) and that sensitivity is also dosage-related. The only sure way to ensure that there is nothing in a mattress that acts as an irritant and triggers your relative’s reactions of itch, burn, respiratory irritation, and skin redness, I’d reach out to the manufacturer of the mattress you are considering and explain her situation. Ask her if they can give you the material composition and perhaps percentages.

Also, the particular way in which material was processed may be part of your research. Even natural components like wool are oftentimes chemically treated to remove odor or are carded with chemicals. To be thorough about your research you’d need to find about any chemical residues left after processing the material.

I am not sure how deep you are ready to go into this but some of our Trusted members would be a good place to start investigating. My Green Mattress, DIY Natural Bedding started their business with issues like yours in mind.

While you may have already read this, there is also a lot more information in post #2 here and the more detailed posts and information it links to about safe, natural, organic, "chemical-free", and "green" mattresses and mattress materials that can help you sort through some of the marketing information and terminology that you will encounter in the industry and can help you differentiate between them and answer "how safe is safe enough” for her and that can help you decide on the type of materials and components she would be most comfortable having in her mattress or on the certifications that may be important to her.

I hope that My Green Mattress sees your post over the weekend to respond from a manufacturer's perspective. Their manufacturing facility recently had major upgrades in the area of clean, green, organic, and natural mattresses and components.
Phoenix
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