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Detox your Child’s Sleeping Environment

toxic mattresses

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Our immune system does the majority of its repair work while we are asleep. This is the time for the body’s cells to regenerate, rejuvenate and detoxify. Conventional mattresses are full of toxic chemicals. The toxic substances they use in the manufacturing process are linked to allergies, asthma, respiratory problems, reproductive toxicity, skin irritations, cancer and other serous health issues.

Children can spend 8-16 hours in bed every day, with their face in close proximity to the mattress. During these hours they continuously breathe in these toxic chemicals. They also love to jump and bounce on the bed and when they do this, they release even more toxins from the mattress.

Here’s a list of the most toxic materials used in conventional mattresses:

  • Formaldehyde (linked to asthma, allergies, and lung cancer)
  • Polyurethane foam (petroleum-based material that emits VOC’s)
  • Flame retardants
  • Boric Acid (roach killer), a pesticide that the EPA classifies as Toxicity Category III for reactions, such as skin irritation
  • Antimony: a metal that can be even more toxic than mercury (according to the Child Product Safety Guide, children absorb 0.5 mg of antimony every night)

There can be up to two cups of these cocktail of toxins added to a conventional mattress. Horrifyingly, manufacturers are not required to list the type of fire retardants they use in their products.  New mattresses smell toxic, they off-gas and release chemicals into the air.  It is now believed that these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin, as they have been found in women’s breastmilk.

Toxic chemicals in mattresses pose even higher risk for infants because cot mattresses are covered with vinyl. Interestingly, the EPA has classified vinyl chloride as a human carcinogen but manufacturers of conventional mattresses still get away with covering cot mattresses with vinyl. Children’s rapidly developing bodies and faster metabolic processes make them more susceptible to toxins around them, such as mattress off-gassing.


Electromagnetic disturbances

Children’s health and sleep and wake cycle can be disrupted not only by toxins in their environment but also by exposures to Electromotive Force (EMF) in their bedroom.  EMF exposures are linked a host of ailments and symptoms, such as allergies, tiredness upon awakening, heart palpitations, muscle pain and weakness, and daytime irritability as well as general weakening of the immune system.

In order to avoid electromagnetic disturbances in your child’s bedroom, you need to avoid two things: Metal bed frames and spring mattresses.


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Aniko Sziraczki is a Kinesiologist with a background in Psychology, and the founder of Raising Toxin Free Children. She is passionate about children’s health and is devoted to informing parents about toxin-free living to keep their children healthy and well in a natural way. Read more on her ‘toxin free living’ blog at www.raisingtoxinfreechildren.com. She lives in London with her partner and her little girl who is attachment parented and is being raised to be healthy, eco-conscious and a responsible occupant of our beautiful Earth.

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