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GOING GREEN IN YOUR BEDROOM

Going green is an important concept in all areas of our lives. We are unable to determine the exact cause of increases in autism, asthma, hyperactivity and other developmental disorders. However, more and more evidence seems to support concerns about the toxic chemical environment in which we live. The proliferation of chemicals used to aid in controlling pests, fighting germs, fertilizing food and in growth hormones has left us surrounded by residual toxins that we ingest through our food sources, inhale in the air we breathe, or absorb through our bodies.

A powerful first choice for going green is the bedroom, where most people will spend a third of their lives. Consider the proximity of your mattress and bedding when you are sleeping, and it makes good sense to error on the side of caution when chemical off-gassing is concerned. We breathe more deeply as we relax and sleep, making us even more vulnerable to toxins in our mattresses and bedding. This is particularly true for infants, whose lungs and bodies are still developing. Of course, we are in direct contact with our bedding, and in almost direct contact with the mattress surface, for hours at a time, absorbing measurable amounts of chemicals while we sleep.

A latex mattress has become the most popular solution for a green bedroom and safe sleeping. Natural latex is a sustainable resource harvested from rubber trees and for those who struggle with allergies, a latex mattress present a safe haven that is naturally hypoallergenic and anti-microbial. This means that molds, mildew, and dust mites that may help trigger allergies will not be waiting for you in your mattress, where they can be the most frustrating. A latex mattress provides support where it is needed most by contouring to the body's natural nuances. Latex relieves pressure points, particularly at the shoulders and hips allowing for better circulation, and in consequence, less tossing and turning for a deeper more restful sleep.

The covering of your mattress is particularly important as it can contain fire-retardant chemicals in the mattress ticking or in “fire socks” that are used to pass the federal open-flame standards. Fortunately, all natural latex mattresses can be found with organic cotton and wool sleep surfaces. Properly configured, a mattress cover of wool and cotton provides sufficient protection to pass the new open flame standards. A latex mattress covered in wool and cotton is free from toxic off-gassing and offers the superior qualities of wool for moisture transport and regulating body temperature. A latex mattress gently distributes your body weight and relieves pressure points. Natural latex and wool will also naturally resist mold, bacteria and dust mites.

The next step in creating a green bedroom is chemical-free bedding. Most textile manufacturing is now done outside of the country, making it even more difficult to determine chemical residues that might be present in the mattresses or bedding. Wrinkle and stain free sheets are generally treated with chemicals that include formaldehyde, and many fabric dyes contain heavy metals. California is currently considering legislation to apply new fire resistant standards to mattress pads, blankets and comforters by treating the bedding with topical chemical fire-retardants. Instead, look for bedding produced without bleaching and wool that has not been chemically treated. Sheets from organic cotton, cultivated without polluting pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, not only benefit the environment, but also your health.

There is no reason to have questionable chemicals in direct contact with your skin, or in your bedding and mattress surface, less than an inch away. Our bodies absorb many of these chemicals and the cumulative long term effects can be dangerous to your health. You owe it to yourself to make your bedroom a safe refuge, as free as possible from toxic chemicals, for both your health and peace of mind. Sleep safely, successful solutions for your mattress and bedding can pay significant dividends for your health.

Written by: KC Ennis


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