Toxic mattresses?… What you NEED to know!

mattress fillIt has long been a mission of mine to tell readers of dangers in products that we don’t typically consider potentially harmful.  Mattresses happen to be one of those products.

The reason?

Beginning July 1, 2007, Federal Fire Retardant Regulations mandated mattress manufacturers to INCREASE their levels of toxic fire retardants, but DO NOT require them to list the chemical ingredients in the contents of the mattresses!

And what do these fire retardants contain?… boric acid, melamine, antimony and formaldehyde… all chemicals linked to cancer.  Antimony alone causes heart muscle damage and (as much as I dislike testing on animals) a single dermal application has been fatal to laboratory animals.  Additional tests on Memory Foam mattresses even detected 61 chemical emissions and off-gassing from a single mattress.  Think about how many hours you spend sleeping on your mattress… every… single… night.  All the while, you are inhaling these toxic off-gassing chemicals. I find it both frightening AND infuriating, especially where our children are concerned.Nat bed matt

The ONLY answer is an organic mattress.  They’re made of pure organic wool, 100% organic cotton covers and 100% natural latex cores, providing even BETTER fire retardancy than the chemicals… naturally! The reality is that mattresses do NOT need to be sprayed with chemicals to make them fire retardant; they need to meet standards for BEING fire retardant… and that’s exactly what you get with organic mattresses.  They are chemical-free AND fire retardant!

When we purchased a new mattress for our son, we chose an organic mattress from Natural Bed Co.  They’re the real deal… helpful, reliable and honest (unlike some other mattress companies our friends have had to deal with!).

If you’re in Northeast Ohio, you can visit their showroom but, luckily for everyone, they’ll ship nationwide! They have literally everything you could need for restful, peaceful sleep, WITHOUT harsh and harmful chemicals sprayed all over your mattress.

Nat bed logoI truly suggest you bookmark this post for when you’re in the market for a new mattress and/or bedding.  But I believe in Natural Bed Co. so much, there is also a clickable link in my sidebar that has taken permanent residence.  Click and take a look… they have exactly what you need.

And by the way, you might be asking yourself if they’re affordable… well, I assure you, they are.  And afterall, considering all of the hours you and your family spend sleeping on your mattresses, can you really afford anything except the safest (and healthiest) choice?

Keep the sweet smell of Valentine’s Day chemical free!

flowr valValentine’s Day… the holiday of LOVE! There might be someone you would love to shower with romance and affection, but while you put together the lovey-est of treats, you want to be sure to make the best choices.

I’ve written about all of the ways to keep it eco-friendly – from chocolates and candles, to wining and dining (and you can read that entire post here).

But Valentine’s Day is a hugely popular holiday for flowers.  The problem?  About 70% of flowers sold in the U.S. are imported and grown using highly toxic chemicals, including pesticides, fertilizers and fungicides. It doesn’t sound so pleasant to take a big “whiff” now, does it?!  This is a danger to us as consumers, workers cultivating the flower crops and florists working with them daily.  It also pollutes the land and groundwater and creates an unhealthy environmental effect.

This Valentine’ Day consider organic flowers! These farms instead use environmental and sustainable practices (without toxins) to insure that everyone in the chain, including the environment, isn’t put at risk.  And it also simply supports local, domestic farming. Diamond Organics, California Organic Flowers and Organic Bouquet will help put you in the right direction to locate a florist that offers organic flowers or buy online if you want “green” blooms.veriflora

You can also look for the VeriFlora label or ask your florist if they are VeriFlora certified and you will know you are buying an organic and sustainable product.

Be assured you’re NOT bringing those toxins into your home or sending them to someone you actually love (or at least like a LOT!).

The scent of organic flowers is pure (non-toxic) sweetness!

Houseplants that can purify your indoor air!

Iareca plm pltndoor plants are a fantastic way to bring the outdoors inside, no matter what time of year it is.  Not only can they breathe life into a room, but did you know they can also, literally, breathe fresh clean air into your home as well?!?

Sadly, our indoor air can become even more polluted than outdoor air(!) due in part to everything from VOCs in paint to all of the horrible things we track in on our shoes and then send airborne!

Just take a look at what some of the most common household plants can “do” for your home!:

  • Areca palm – this one is the top purifier and also humidifies the air as it cleans!  (Lady palm and bamboo palm also do an amazing job!)
  • Peace lilies – also a great all-around air purifier, and incredibly easy to maintain.peace lly plt
  • English ivy – fantastic for removing airborne mold (up to 60% of airborne mold in just six hours, by the way!).
  • Spider plants – great at removing 100% of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide from the air in only 24 hours.
  • Boston ferns – another great over-all air purifier but especially for removing formaldehyde from the air.
  • Rubber plants – great for cleaning out those VOCs.

To reach maximum effectiveness, it’s recommended to have at least one 6” plant per 100 feet of living space.

Amazing, isn’t it? Actually, it’s exactly what I would expect Mother Nature to provide… something to clean-up our dirty work (and dirty air!).

Do you know what’s on your new mattress?

mttrssWhenever my husband is away on business my kids also “relocate”… into our bed, that is.  Each night I find myself planted in the middle of our king-sized bed snuggled between my “hot water bottle” kids.

During his recent trip, I could feel myself sleeping on what has become a hump in the middle of the bed and literally worried about rolling onto one of the kids.  It became quite obvious that our mattress has seen better days since we’ve both apparently made our “impression”.

The choice of a new mattress is a simple one for me, especially after researching the purchase of our son’s mattress not so long ago, but I realized it’s also an opportunity to again share some pretty serious information.

Here is the concern:  Beginning July 1, 2007, Federal Fire Retardant Regulations mandated mattress manufacturers to INCREASE the levels of toxic fire retardants, but DO NOT require them to list the ingredients in the contents!toxc

And what do these fire retardants contain?… boric acid, melamine, antimony and formaldehyde… all chemicals linked to cancer.  Antimony alone causes heart muscle damage and a single dermal application has killed rabbits in laboratory tests.  Additional tests on Memory Foam mattresses even detected 61 chemical emissions and off-gassing from a single mattress.  Think about how many hours you spend sleeping on your mattress… every … single … night.  All the while, you are inhaling these toxic off-gassing chemicals. I find it frightening, AND infuriating, especially where our children are concerned.

If you’d like to take a look at my original post and view a supporting news report, you can find it here.  Or maybe you’d just like to know to answer…

mattress fillFor us, the ONLY answer is an organic mattress.  They’re made of pure organic wool, 100% organic cotton covers and 100% natural latex cores, providing even better fire retardancy than the chemicals… naturally! For our son, we selected a Savvy Rest mattress from Healthy Home Sleep Gallery (and we DIDN’T need a prescription!… more on that here).  Was it more than the common mattress store brands?  Sure, it was… (the cheapest method to comply with the fire retardant regulations is to simply spray on the chemicals!), but was it worth it when we made a new mattress purchase for our son?… without a doubt.

Now that it’s nearing time to replace our own mattress, I can’t imagine choosing anything other than organic for our own health…  but also because it’s only a matter of time before my two precious “hot water bottles” plan another sleepover too, and I want ALL of us to rest and breath easy (and healthy)!

Getting to know what’s in your soil… (do you know?)

This weekend our family started the morning having breakfast on the patio… we enjoyed each other’s company, ate mounds of fresh organic fruit and eggs, and read the newspaper. Seems enjoyable enough… yes?

veg bsktYes! Until I got to an article in the newspaper about urban vegetable gardens and the unknown threat of lead in the soil! Oh for pete’s sake, really?  I had never actually thought about it.

It seems there is an increasing concern for what existed, or still exists, in and around our seemingly healthy organic gardens.  And not just in urban settings, but anywhere.  Do we really know?  Are we all sure of what exists in our soil even if we aren’t adding pesticides and herbicides?

Surprisingly, the problem is not with the lead reaching the produce either.  In fact, according to experts, very little makes its way into the plant and virtually none reaches the produce.  The problem is when we are working and moving the soil, and we cause the lead to go airborne.  It is then that we inhale and essentially ingest the toxin.

Cheery, isn’t it?!?!  No, not at all, but if you do have some concern over your soil, whether it be for a garden or just because you’re curious about what dwells in your yard, there is a rather inexpensive way to find out…school veg grdn3

The University of Massachusetts offers a kit to test the soil for only $9!  If you want to find out, make the small investment and order the kit here.

I’m fairly confident about the soil around our house, but around our daughter’s school where we have our veggie garden, I have no idea.  It may be worth it to find out.

Recalled toys made with lead paints have sadly become common place, however, recalling our entire yard?… that would be another problem entirely!