Your Crib Mattress Probably Contains Dangerous Chemicals

The most important thing we do when we have a baby (well one of them, anyway) is find a safe place for our child to sleep. Different parents have different ideas about what that means, but one thing is consistent with us all: We all want our babies to be safe. But now, a new report says dangerous chemicals are in about 72 percent of the crib mattresses sold in the United States. It isn't exactly inspiring us to feel good about it, is it?

Clean and Healthy New York, an environmental health advocacy group, surveyed more than two dozen crib mattress companies and found that about three-quarters of the crib mattresses contain at least one potentially harmful chemical. Those chemicals include certain flame retardants, antibacterials, and waterproofing additives. The group is calling for new federal standards to limit the use of many chemicals in crib mattresses and I kind of have to agree.

How on Earth is this even remotely OK?


Only three firms were deemed safe. These three were:

  • Vivetique
  • White Lotus
  • Naturepedic

They make some or all of their crib mattresses without using risky chemicals or allergens, according to the group.

Between bottles with Bisphenol A and chemicals on toys, lead paint, and pesticides, it's incredibly disturbing to think what our tiny children are exposed to every day. Babies spend 16 hours a day with their faces pressed up within inches of chemicals their parents probably don't know about, said Bobbi Chase Wilding, the lead author of the study.

How does that make you feel? Of course, the natural mattresses are incredibly expensive, so parents are left with a disturbing choice. In the end, this is just unacceptable. We shouldn't allow these chemicals to be in any mattresses, no matter how much they cost.

Even more disturbing, the 28 companies surveyed by the group make 190 models of crib mattresses, some of which made small changes they heavily advertised. They added thin layers of organic cotton and called those mattresses “greener” even if other components contained risky chemicals.

Terrible, manipulative, and really scary, if you ask me. This needs to change. Now.

Does this scare you?


Image via USCPSC/Flickr

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