In a world where we are being inundated with the concept of “green” and “organic” things, we will begin to question how necessary it is to buy good that have this label slapped on them. One of the most troubling decisions we have to make in regard to organic items is anything that is related to the health and safety of our children. We are torn between something that is more cost effective and something that may be safer for our baby. Because if your baby is injured in some way, you will wind up blaming yourself that you did not just fork out the extra money and just get the safer item. This is only one reason that you should buy an organic crib mattress, but there are many others.
- Your baby’s crib mattress is going to be a constant place of toxic exposure. Think about how much your baby will (hopefully) be using the crib. An infant, on average, sleeps about 12 hours a day. So half of your baby’s time will be on the crib mattress. Infancy is one of the most critical times of development an exposure to harmful toxins can be detrimental to your child’s overall health and well-being.
- There are harmful materials within the standard crib mattress. The normal filling used in a crib mattress is polyurethane foam. Polyurethane is made from petroleum and as a result is highly flammable. Sometimes they are processed with chemical additives as well, including benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde, all of which are very bad for your baby’s health. The waterproof outer layer is typically made out of vinyl which has been proven to be one of the most toxic and environmentally hazardous plastics in the entire world. Vinyl is made from petroleum and chlorine and has been shown to be a carcinogen to humans.
- Your baby could develop long-term health problems. Prolonged exposure to these kinds of chemicals can lead to lifelong health problems, including asthma, early onset of puberty, reproductive harm, kidney damage, liver damage, and even cancer.
- Many of the contents have not been tested for safety. Even though some types of contents, including phthalates, have been banned from use in the United States, there are a number of things used in the United States that have not been tested at all. It would take years of additional research in order to see how dangerous the non-banned phthalates are, something that no one is doing right now.
- Non-organic crib mattresses contain flame retardant. Because of the petroleum base that is within most crib mattresses, mattress manufacturers will also put flame retardant on the mattresses to pretend them from burning or combusting in the event of a house fire. The results is that the baby is exposed to flame retardant while he or she is sleeping and they will absorb the chemicals through their skin. Exposing babies to flame retardant can have negative effects on baby’s immune system, hormone system, development, memory, as well as the baby’s behavior. Flame retardant also runs the risk of causing cancer. Some states have regulations about the amount of flame retardants that are used on mattresses, but the flame retardant replacement can also be just as toxic as the regular flame retardant. Do your research and go organic.
- The gasses may be a factor in SIDS. While there is no definitive cause of SIDS and it seems to have been around a long time, there is the risk that mattresses could be giving off a toxic gas which could be extremely detrimental to the baby’s overall health an well-being.