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The Five Problems
With Baby Mattresses

Are Toxic Chemicals Harming Our Children?

Childhood Disorders
On The Rise

How Are Toxic
Chemicals Allowed?

What About
Fire Protection?

The NaturePedic® Design
This report, “Five Problems With Baby Mattresses”, is intended to highlight the potential dangers of using baby mattresses composed of vinyl (polyvinyl chloride or PVC), phthalates, polyurethane foam, harsh chemical fire retardants, and other chemical additives.

It is becoming increasingly clear that toxic chemicals are affecting our children. A primary source of toxic chemicals in the environment of a child during its first few years of life is the mattress and bedding. Removing potentially harmful chemicals from these prominent objects represents a prudent approach for concerned parents and their doctors.

G.E.M. Testing & Engineering Labs serves as technical consultant to NaturePedic, and has designed the NaturePedic No-Compromise™ Baby Mattress.
Here is an overview of some specific concerns with baby mattresses:
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), the surface material used in nearly all baby mattresses, is widely considered to be one of the most toxic and environmentally unfriendly plastics in use today.
  • Phthalates, associated with asthma, reproductive effects, and cancer, make up 30% by weight of the PVC surface of a typical baby mattress. Phthalates are not bound to the plastic and leach out.
  • The FDA and Consumer Product Safety Commission have issued general warnings regarding the use of phthalates, yet the
    PVC surfaces of baby mattresses still contain phthalates.
  • DEHP (the most commonly used phthalate in baby mattresses), together with several other phthalates, have already been banned across Europe for use in many childrenís products.
  • The PVC surface of a typical baby mattress is also treated with toxic fire retardant chemicals such as antimony. Various biocides are often added as well.
  • Polyurethane foam, the predominant filling material used in baby mattresses, typically contains various problematic ingredients including chemical catalysts, surfactants, emulsifiers, pigments, and other chemical additives. These frequently include formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and other well established toxic chemicals.
  • Polyurethane foam (essentially solid petroleum) is extremely flammable. To combat this hazard, industrial toxic fire retardants are added. The most common chemical fire retardant used to treat polyurethane foam has been pentaBDE, a toxin associated with hyperactivity and neurobehavioral alterations. PentaBDE is not bound to the foam, and leaches out into the surrounding air.
  • PentaBDE has recently been banned in Europe. It has also been banned by the State of California as of 2006. However, there
    is currently no planned government action to recall the millions of baby mattresses presently in use that contain pentaBDE.
  • Other common materials found in baby mattresses include ìshoddyî pads made from scraps swept off the floor of textile mills
    or “hair” pads made from pig hair.
  • Children are far more vulnerable to toxic chemicals than adults, especially within their first few years of life. Considering that children spend over 50% of their early life on a baby mattress, it would be prudent to use materials that donít contain such dangerous chemicals.

Disclosures and Disclaimers: G.E.M. Testing & Engineering Labs serves in the capacity of technical consultant to NaturePedic. Barry A. Cik, a quarter century veteran in the field of environmental engineering, and chief engineer at G.E.M. Testing & Engineering Labs, formulated the NaturePedic design. Credentials, licenses, and certifications are listed for identification purposes only. All informational sources presented here are presumed to be reliable. This report is not intended to engage in medical research or the diagnosis or treatment of any disease. For medical related questions, please follow the advice of your physician.

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