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The Politics of a Mattress

Oct 26, 2012

In the movie "Thank You For Smoking" we follow the exploits of a man employed by a marketing front for the tobacco industry as he tries to convince people that smoking is actually cool and advantageous. Of course it isn't but he was so convincing you almost want to pick up a pack. And behind the organization was Big Tobacco, who stood to lose billions if people stopped smoking.

 

Who knew a similar situation would exist in the mattress business? When you are out shopping for your next organic or natural mattress at the mattress store, what seems as a simple purchase involves billions of dollars and lots of politics.
For example, if you sell a mattress as a manufacturer in the United States, you have to have the mattress pass fire safety standards. And on the surface that looks like a great cause, right? I mean, who wants to hear of a family consumed in a horrific house fire because their mattress caught fire? Smoking in bed would usually be the cause of this issue, so it shouldn't surprise you to learn that this whole movement was started by the Tobacco industry and the Chemical industry. 
Recently the NY Times carried an article that discussed the "Citizens for Fire Safety" a similar front to the one in the Thank You For Smoking movie, but this one funded by the Chemical companies, or Big Chemical. And according to the article, the "Citizens for Fire Safety" trotted out a physician who paraded photos of a poor baby that was burned because her mother put a candle in the crib and the bedding caught fire. How sad, right? Except it was found to be a complete fabrication. It didn't happen.  Why would they do that?
Chemical companies want to sell chemicals. It's what they do. And no one wants to see babies catch fire, right? Match made in heaven! Show sad photos, politicians get money to pass laws stating all bedding has to be fire retardant. They create a bureau that goes around and ensures no one is selling mattress and bedding that has not passed the fire retardant laws.
Scary.
Again, no one wants to see someone irresponsibly burned up because their mattress caught fire, and maybe instead of coating the polyurethane with hazardous fire retardant chemicals we make mattresses and bedding out of safer, natural materials. But what is the greater evil? Affect the health of millions with chemicals that are not long term tested on humans or protect a few irresponsible people who smoke in bed? And if your house catches on fire, your mattress is the least of your worries. Your house, your furnishings, the wood, the carpets, the drapes, packaging, cupboards, toys, appliances...all these things are flammable. In fact, fire fighters have loudly voiced their disapproval of these chemicals because in a house fire they are exposed to them in the smoke. A house fire is going to consume your house in fire, but your mattress will burn slower because of the chemicals. Great!
So what is the solution? Mattress manufacturers can't deviate from the laws, and consumers are forced to buy the products that fall into that category.
OR....
You can do what our ancestors have done since the beginning of time: Make your own mattress!
You can sleep on the floor, sleep on blankets, sleep on foam, or buy components and make your own sleep system. You are free to make anything you want. We empower you here at Nest Bedding, the thinking person's mattress store. 
So, if you want a mattress, memory foam mattress, organic or natural mattress that complies with fire safety, we got'em. If you decide you are crafty and want to make your own mattress, we have components, or search your local area, and you will find lots of things to make your own bed. Who knew that one day making your bed would be fun?
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