If you want to seriously reduce chemical exposure in your home, then switching to an organic bedroom is the most effective place to start. We spend approximately one-third of our life sleeping – that’s 33. 3 years spent sleeping if you live to be 100 (and leading an organic lifestyle you have a better shot at it), so it clearly makes sense to start there.
Conventional mattresses, blankets, sheets and pillowcases contain a lot of chemicals. Cotton accounts for up to 25% of the insecticides used worldwide and many are classified as possible human carcinogens. Cotton is also usually bleached and treated with chemical dyes and color fixers. Synthetic fabrics such as polyurethane foam and polyester are made from petroleum and can cause allergic reactions and even initiate cancer. Mattresses and pads must be treated with fire retardants, which emit formaldehyde and pose additional health risks. Less expensive bed frames use plywood and particle board containing formaldehyde that is off gassed into our bedrooms, also contributing to allergies and potentially other illnesses.
Buy untreated or natural bedding such as organic cotton, linen, hemp or bamboo. Often more expensive, but definitely healthier, you can transition slowly. First buy a chemical free pillow, ideal for allergy sufferers. Next try organic cotton sheets and mattress pads. Finally make the switch to an organic mattress made from natural rubber and covered in organic cotton and wool. Wool has superior insulating qualities and believe it or not is comfortable all year-long. It is also naturally dust mite and fire resistant. Latex mattresses are:
- resistant to moisture buildup
- naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic
- mold and dust free
- with little or no toxic substances or ozone-depleting agents used in the manufacture of the mattress
You will find many choices in organic mattresses and bedding online, designed for all preferences and all budgets. Retail outlets are also beginning to carry organic bedding. Target has an attractive line of organic sheets, and with the demand for organic everything increasing, many local mattress stores now carry natural latex mattresses. Make the switch and have a safe night’s sleep!