Where babies lay their heads is of profound importance to their health and well-being. The unseen compounds that they absorb through their tender skin and breathe in from the air can either aid or block their growth. Because kids spend 40 percent of their early years sleeping, bedroom environments have a huge impact on the developmental process.
It’s easy to connect healthy food with strong bodies, or natural cosmetics with beautiful skin. You can see, taste, or feel the differences. It’s harder to know how the consumer choices you make affect your nighttime environment. Research now suggests that what you can’t see, when your eyes are closed and you’re asleep, may be crucial to a healthy life.
Mattress marketing is anything but transparent. Many companies market their mattresses as “natural” or even “organic” when they are far from it. Most mattresses are packed with toxic chemicals like: polyurethane foam, which is a petroleum-based material that emits VOCs; formaldehyde; and boric acid, which is commonly used as the poison used to kill roaches.
So you’ve baby-proofed the entire house. Every single corner of furniture is taped with protective padding, every bottom cupboard is locked, and every page of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” has been read. Turns out, there might be one more critical item to check off your to-do list: understanding the exact contents of your baby’s crib mattress.
If you’re getting enough sleep at night, that means you’re spending at least 1/3 of your life in bed. And with your face pressed against your mattress or pillow, your exposure to whatever materials they’re made of is about as extensive as you can get without actually ingesting them! In particular, with a mattress or pillow, you are breathing in whatever VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) they are emitting.