What’s NOT In a Naturepedic Mattress?
Vinyl / PVC Cover
Polyvinyl chloride (a.k.a. vinyl/PVC) is one of the “not so healthy” environmentally unfriendly plastics in use today. In particular, PVC requires a plasticizer additive to turn it into vinyl. Certain variations of these additives, called phthalates, have been recently banned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission for use in crib mattresses and other children’s products as of Feb 10, 2009. However, substitute chemicals and/or materials may not be much better. Vinyl also frequently contains antimony fire retardants as well as antibacterial chemical treatments. Vinyl is also known to release substantial VOCs and break down over time. Beware of baby crib mattresses that don’t disclose the surface of the mattress as it will most likely be vinyl.
Nylon, Damask or Polyurethane Cover
These waterproof covers are not really waterproof - only water resistant (or “wet proof” as they are sometimes called). They usually contain a polyurethane backing and a waterproof coating similar to Teflon®. They also frequently contain added fire retardants and antibacterial chemical treatments.
Polyurethane Foam (Including “Eco”, “Soy”, “Bio” “Plant Derived”
and Other Polyurethane Blends)
Polyurethane foam is a petroleum product made from questionable ingredients. It is highly flammable and often contains fire retardant chemicals. It releases VOCs and can break down into small particles which become airborne over time. Polyurethane foam production also poses serious environmental concerns.
Note: “Eco”, “Soy” “Bio”, and other “Plant Derived” foams are nothing more than polyurethane foam with some naturally derived polyols mixed in (typically only 12% of the foam). While this is a step in the right direction from an environmental standpoint, it does not address any of the chemical concerns.
Natural Latex / Rubber or Coir
At first glance, natural latex/rubber may seem to be an excellent material for use in baby and children’s mattresses. However, natural latex/rubber has been associated with unusually high allergies, particularly in children. Most allergists recommend that babies and young children steer clear of latex. According to the FDA, a product containing latex (and particularly natural latex) cannot be labeled as “hypoallergenic.” Coir (or coconut husks) also contains latex as a bonding agent (which is what gives it its bounce). Additionally, hospitals across the country are in the process of removing latex due to this concern.
Wool, Mohair or Horsetail Hair
Wool is a natural fire retardant material used in many organic mattresses.
Wool has long been associated with allergies, particularly in children. For example, wool intrinsically contains lanolin and certain alcohols known to have allergenic properties. Other allergens originate not with the wool itself, but with the chemical treatments applied (in order to clean it from dirt, sand, grease and dried sweat).
A precautionary approach should be taken since babies are potentially susceptible to high allergy materials such as wool and other animal hairs.
Fire Retardant Chemicals
Naturepedic follows the precautionary principle and eliminates questionable chemicals in the first place. In particular, Naturepedic completely eliminates vinyl/PVC, phthalates and phthalate substitutes, PBDEs, brominated or chlorinated fire retardants, antimony, modacrylic, polyacrylonitrile, respirable crystaline silica, boric acid and many other chemicals commonly found in mattresses.