Chemical Free Mattress/ Couch -Limit Your Exposure to Flame Retardants by Dr. Mercola
Can You Find a Chemical-Free Mattress or Couch? It’s possible if you look for those made of natural materials and made by environmentally conscious manufacturers. You should take special precaution with your mattress, however, since you spend a large amount of your life sleeping on it. Mattress manufacturers are not required to label or disclose which chemicals their mattresses contain. They may even claim that their mattresses are chemical-free, when in reality they are not. To avoid this toxic exposure, I recommend looking for a mattress made of:
100% organic wool, which is naturally flame-resistant. Even if you hold a match to wool, it will self-extinguish in moments. This is why I use one of our wool mattresses, as it's free of these dangerous fire retardants like PBDE
100% organic cotton or flannel also tends to be flame-resistant
Kevlar fibers, the material they make bulletproof vests out of, which is sufficient to pass the fire safety standards. Stearns and Foster is one brand that sells this type of mattress
You Can Help Limit Your Exposure to Flame Retardants Until these chemicals are removed from use entirely, tips you can use to reduce your exposure to PBDEs around your home include: 1
Be especially careful with polyurethane foam products manufactured prior to 2005, such as upholstered furniture, mattresses, and pillows, as these are most likely to contain PBDEs. If you have any of these in your home, inspect them carefully and replace ripped covers and/or any foam that appears to be breaking down. Also avoid reupholstering furniture by yourself as the reupholstering process increases your risk of exposure.
Older carpet padding is another major source of PBDEs, so take precautions when removing old carpet. You'll want to isolate your work area from the rest of your house to avoid spreading it around, and use a HEPA filter vacuum to clean up.
You probably also have older sources of the PBDEs known as Deca in your home as well, and these are so toxic they are banned in several states. Deca PBDEs can be found in electronics like TVs, cell phones, kitchen appliances, fans, toner cartridges, and more. It's a good idea to wash your hands after handling such items, especially before eating, and at the very least be sure you don't let infants mouth any of these items (like your TV remote control or cell phone).
As you replace PBDE-containing items around your home, select those that contain naturally less flammable materials, such as leather, wool, and cotton.
Look for organic and "green" building materials, carpeting, baby items, mattresses, and upholstery, which will be free from these toxic chemicals and help reduce your overall exposure. Furniture products filled with cotton, wool, or polyester tend to be safer than chemical-treated foam; some products also state that they are "flame-retardant free."
PBDEs are often found in household dust, so clean up with a HEPA-filter vacuum and/or a wet mop often.