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Minggu, Juni 22, 2008

Is Your Mattress Making You Sick?

Imagine sleeping for eight hours per night, all the while breathing in dangerous and toxic chemicals that have been proven to be toxic and carcinogenic to human beings. Does this sound far fetched and crazy?

Yes, it does. But it is also true.

A new law was just put into effect, on July 1, 2007, that requires all mattresses sold in the United States to be flame proof. This was spearheaded by the ISPA (International Sleep Products Association) with a stated purpose of making mattresses more safe from fires.

At least, that is their stated position. But on closer inspection, it appears as if there is a sinister motive. Sadly, it appears as if this is merely a farce, and the real reason is to limit competition, by effectively pitting smaller mattress companies out of business, because they cannot comply with this new law.

Mattress sales are big business. Over 37 Million new mattresses are sold each year, and smaller, specialty mattress manufactures and imports have been taking away a large share of the Big three sales (Serta, Sealy, Simmons).With this new law, many smaller companies will be forced out of business.

The challenge with making mattresses flame proof is that large quantities of harsh chemicals are needed, such as Boric Acid, which is the active ingredient in Roach Killer. Now, you may be thinking that this is somehow different than the roach killer you can get at the local hardware store, but its not. I checked, and it's the exact same chemical. And there is up to two pounds of boric acid (as finely sprinkled dust) in the average mattress.

As you can imagine, this has caused a consumer backlash, as many people are experiencing symptoms such as severe allergic reactions. The most common ones include rashes, itchy skin, runny nose, difficulty breathing, and light headedness. The long term effects of many of these chemicals have not been determined, and could prove to be deadly by causing various forms of cancer.

There is one caveat, however. People who are adamantly opposed to sleeping next to these chemicals have a way out. The law allows anyone to claim an exemption, as long as they have a prescription from a doctor. And there is only one mattress manufacturer that will still make these types of chemical free beds. That company is Strobel Technologies.

Many mattress manufacturers have been in compliance with this law for the last 2 years, so if you purchased a mattress in that time frame, you could have been affected. Of course, you will never know because there is no labeling requirement. The ISPA made sure of that, as they don't people to know what they are sleeping with.

The solution is either live with it (and risk your health), or purchase a chemical free mattress by getting a prescription from your doctor.

Dr. Masood Kureshi is a chiropractic specialist, and has spoken against the use of flame retardant chemicals in mattresses for many years. He has prescribed chemical free mattresses for hundreds of his patients.

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