AUSTIN, Texas — In a first-of-its-kind study, a team of environmental engineers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin found that infants are exposed to high levels of chemical emissions from crib mattresses while they sleep.
Analyzing the foam padding in crib mattresses, the team found that the mattresses release significant amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), potentially harmful chemicals also found in household items such as cleaners and scented sprays.
The researchers found:
*New crib mattresses release about four times as many VOCs as old crib mattresses.
*Body heat increases emissions.
*Chemical emissions are strongest in the sleeping infant’s immediate breathing zone.
The researchers concluded that, on average, mattresses emitted VOCs at a rate of 87.1 micrograms per square meter per hour, while older mattresses emitted VOCs at a rate of 22.1 micrograms per square meter per hour. Overall, Boor said crib mattresses release VOCs at rates comparable to other consumer products and indoor materials, including laminate flooring (20 to 35 micrograms per square meter per hour) and wall covering (51 micrograms per square meter per hour).
Boor became motivated to conduct the study after finding out that infants spend 50 to 60 percent of their day sleeping. Infants are considered highly susceptible to the adverse health effects of exposure to indoor air pollutants.
The researchers identified more than 30 VOCs in the mattresses, including phenol, neodecanoic acid and linalool. The most abundant chemicals identified in the crib mattress foam, such as limonene (a chemical that gives products a lemon scent), are routinely found in many cleaning and consumer products.
Chemist and indoor air quality expert Charles J. Weschler, adjunct professor in environmental and occupational medicine at Rutgers University, said he does not think the levels of chemical concentration found in the mattresses are alarming, but he considers the research valuable.
volatile organic compounds (VOCs), potentially harmful chemicals also found in household items such as cleaners and scented sprays. - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...
Apparently VOCs may not be just for kids, either. Stuffs in those comfy mattress toppers that are so popular too:
Can Your Mattress Kill You?
Theoretically, a fully reacted polyurethane polymer should be chemically inert. But any chemist will tell you that even fully reacted polyurethane can produce dust inducing mechanical irritation to the eyes and lungs. And, as there are no industrial processes 100 % complete, you should expect the polyurethane to expel its chemical load. Only the resin blends can expel isocyanates, which were proven to be skin and respiratory sensitizers, causing asthma. This is just a short list of toxins found in an analyzed type of memory foam: TDI (Toluene Di-Isocyanate), Polyol (Poly Ether Gycol), Silicone Surfactant, Tertiary Amine, Stannous Octoate, Flame Retardant, Pigments/Dyes. TDI is an aromatic hydrocarbon (it is really smelly) causing asthma. Tertiary amines have strong odors and are allergenic. No need to comment on the dyes...
reply to post by Elton
What can those chemical fumes do to a developing brain of an infant I wonder.
I would like to see a study or survey in conjunction with autism. Correlation isn't causation however I think it is worth looking into as a contributing factor.
This theory was supposedly tested by a commission in the UK. The lab tests found that some amount of gas was formed but judged that the concentration was "too low" to kill a baby. This evidence was opposed by a study done in germany, which did find that sufficient gas was formed.
I do not know the truth of this matter. However, there a millions of dead babies out there, that have died under mysterious circumstance. My nephew is one of them.
I don't think this theory can be dismissed out of hand. It shouldn't be exaggerated - but perhaps we really do need to look at the issue seriously.