After writing many articles about the dangers of chemicals in crib and infant mattresses, I sometimes feel everyone must be aware, right? Then I consider no one is really interested in a crib mattress until they (or someone they know) is expecting. According to the 2012 census, there were 3.95 million births in the US. That’s a huge number of parents who need to be educated each year about harmful chemicals.
The University of Texas recently completed a study on Infant Exposure to Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds from Crib Mattresses. They tested 20 mattresses both new and used. The new mattresses were tested approximately 6 months after the manufacture date to avoid the “peak emission period” and get a better indication of long term exposure. How many new parents think about letting their baby’s crib mattress off gas for 6 months before using it! Here’s the link:
It’s a great article explaining the dangers of VOCs in a crib mattress. Most of these chemicals have never been tested for negative health effects on humans. Some of the emissions identified were found to cause sensory irritation, pulmonary irritation, and decreases in midexpiratory airflow velocity in mice. The study recreates the breathing zone an infant experiences while sleeping in a crib and measures the amount of VOCs likely inhaled. Their findings support crib mattresses are a significant source of VOCs. It goes on to explain the source of many of these VOCs comes from petroleum based polyurethane and plastic materials, combined with adhesives and additives used in the manufacturing process. The study also suggests because of the increased temperature of the mattress (caused by heat transfer from the infant) the amount of VOCs released is increased. The conclusion of the study advises parents to reduce the amount of VOCs their baby is exposed to from a crib mattress. The authors also encourage more testing as exposure to these and other harmful chemicals found in crib mattresses “may disproportionately aﬀect infants and children and lead to lifelong illnesses and disabilities”.
Please help spread the word about the dangerous chemicals found in some crib mattresses. GOTS and GREENGUARD certified mattresses are healthy choices for your baby.
Written by Debbie, Owner of Absolutely Organic Baby