I encounter customers on a daily basis, and have for years, who are at their wit's end trying to make heads or tails of the mattress industry and the mattress business in general. You can type in search terms such as memory foam bed or memory foam mattress, and what you will find is everything from it will kill you to it's perfectly safe and harmless. What is the truth about memory foam mattresses? About the fire barrier or FR materials used?
The fact is, foams have not been thoroughly tested on humans. There are thousands upon thousands of chemicals in our food, water and air, let alone our mattresses, bedding, clothes and furniture. Tap water? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are over 700 chemicals in our drinking water, and that includes “clean” sources such as wells and springs. Of all the dangerous chemicals found in drinking water, chlorine and fluoride are two of the most prominent. In fact, both of these chemicals are added intentionally!
Man-made chemicals are engineered and unnatural, and its fairly common sense to say that we are not sure how all these chemicals are affecting us, animals and plant life, but one thing is for certain: they ARE affecting us.
Regardless of your politics and beliefs on the matter, we can all benefit from limiting our exposure to these man-made substances that enter our body and cause chaos. We can choose safer, more natural sources of food and water, we can add air purifiers to our home and work, and we can use natural, organic and non-toxic bedding and mattresses.
Your traditional, name brand mattresses utilize foams and plastic fabrics (polyester, microfiber, etc) and petroleum-based foams which, when new, will emit a "new mattress" smell, which comes from the chemicals used to make the materials and the chemicals used to make the bed fire retardant. New memory foam mattresses or beds have a strong "new foam" smell and that is what is called a VOC or volatile organic compound. Even flowers have a VOC, or a scent. The difference with the man-made material is the scent is the off-gassing of the chemicals, or the actual chemical leeching into the air and being absorbed into your blood stream through your nostrils and lungs. The chemicals then circulate throughout your body and can disrupt the normal function of your body's chemical reactions. It's like taking a teaspoon full of chemical filled liquid.
With chemicals everywhere, the best we can hope to do is to limit our exposure to chemicals. Buying an organic mattress, natural mattress or non-toxic memory foam mattress, organic and natural bedding and pillows, can help in that endeavor. You face is right in your pillow all night, is it off-gassing toxic chemicals? Same with your sheets and blankets.
There are far too many man-made chemicals being produced, every day, to ever test the safety for humans. My advice is to avoid them as much as possible and know what you are bringing into your home, eating and drinking, to help keep your self and your family and pets from excessive chemical exposure.