Is There a Carcinogen In My Mattress

Is There a Carcinogen In My Mattress?

August 20, 2009
Green LivingHealthy Sleep

So are there carcinogens in my mattress? Like it or not many mattresses today probably include carcinogens and even worse you may be sleeping with them, them being carcinogens. What is a carcinogen? In short the word carcinogen refers to any substance, radio nuclide, and or radiation that are directly involved in the promotion of cancer or in the increase of its propagation. The thought is that carcinogens have the ability to harm the human genome or to interrupt the cellular metabolic processes.

Today’s blog is going to cover the carcinogens found in cotton. Cotton is a material that is often used in the construction of mattresses. It is used in everything from the mattress stuffing, padding, and even the very fabric you sleep on. But is traditionally grown cotton and it’s added non traditional chemicals used throughout the cotton growing process really part of the touch and the feel we want to go to bed with the rest of our lives? In our previous blog called Is there a difference between organic cotton and regular cotton?. We mentioned there were 5 possible, probable, likely, or known human carcinogens. After reading further it seems according to the EPA {The Environmental Protection Agency} that they believe seven of the top fifteen pesticides are as follows (dichloropropene, acephate, diuron, pendimethalin, fluometuron, tribufos, and trifluralin) and were used in the farming of cotton in the year 2000 in the United States. This information was gathered from the OTA the Organic Trade Associations website.

So is there more to those feel good cotton commercials promoting virgin white pristine sheets hanging from a laundry line, people finding success and living life to the fullest everyday in their comfortable cotton clothes, with their families, freinds and coworkers? The TV ads promote cotton this way… the touch, the feel, the fabric of our lives cotton. I am curious to know if there are follow-up commercials that perhaps tell us the things we don’t know about cotton. For example are there real concerns about the substantial amounts of water used for improper irrigation methods? Should we be concerned about the heavy reliance on herbicides and pesticides? What about runoff and air pollution from aerial spraying? Should we be concerned about the bleaches, dyes, and other finishing chemicals used in our shirts, sheets, and other ordinary cotton fabrics we come into contact with? Finally what is really in our mattresses’ cover, stuffings, and padding?

So how does the use of possible or known carcinogens affect the mattress industry or more specifically you and I? The way I see it most of us get six to nine hours of sleep a night. That is one third of our life. Due to the long term exposure either through skin absorbsion or inhalation our health risks must be increased. Traditionally grown cotton often includes carcinogens where as certified organic cotton includes no harmful chemicals. Which are you going to choose the next time you buy cotton or does it matter?