Considering infants often spend up to sixteen hours a day sleeping, would you not want to provide your little bundle of joy a safe place to sleep as their bodies develop and grow? The sad truth is that most conventional crib mattresses contain harmful chemicals like toxic flame-retardants and allergens that are harmful to your developing baby.
So while creating a healthy, toxic-free nursery for your little one isn’t always easy, here is a quick guide to help you choose a healthier crib mattress.
According to a recent report by Clean and Healthy New York (CHNY) titled The Mattress Matters: Protecting Babies While they Sleep a significant portion of the crib mattresses in the U.S. market contain one or more chemicals of concern. This report shows us that 72 percent of the crib mattresses on the market are made using "chemicals of concern" – manufacturers are utilizing materials such as vinyl that off-gas VOCs. The researchers looked at 190 mattresses from 28 mattress-makers, surveying the materials used in construction to determine which crib mattresses were healthiest.
As with everything related to consumer products, there simply aren’t enough labeling laws that require mattress-makers to disclose exactly what is contained within them. Instead, companies are allowed to get away with green washing claims that allow them to use "proprietary" chemicals and materials, meaning they don’t have to tell you what they use to construct their mattresses. Twenty two percent of the mattresses the company looked at contained proprietary chemicals.
I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t want to expose my growing baby to VOCs. Luckily, the CHNY survey includes a list of brands that make crib mattresses without these pesky and potentially dangerous chemicals. Brands considered safe include:
Of the mattresses listed above, your best bets for the safest include: Naturepedic mattresses, which are not only free of concerning chemicals but also avoid using allergens in their construction. Additionally, Vivetique and White Lotus mattresses sell certain models that also avoid allergens.
So what can you do as a parent to protect your children? Well, for starters besides becoming educated and making better decisions for your family by supporting companies that are making sustainable choices you can also ask your local Senators to support the Safe Chemicals Act . If passed, the act would increase the safety of chemicals used in your consumer products, increase public access to health and safety information, and protect vulnerable populations like pregnant women and children.
Kamila Veljkovic is a contributor to Yoli’s Green Living. Having suffered some serious health issues over the past few years, Kamila became incredibly passionate about understanding what is in the food and products we consume on a daily basis, the chemicals used in its production and the ways we can heal ourselves of diseases by correcting eating and lifestyle habits. In 2011 she decided to pursue by passion for health & wellness by attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to take charge of her own health and help inspire countless others to do so in the process. Kamila and her husband reside in New York and are currently expecting the arrival of their first child in February.1