Are mattresses safe to sleep in?
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) their goal is to make our mattress safe. Did they succeed with their new fire law? In 2006 the CPSC assessed whether or not there was a health risk potential in relation to chemicals in mattresses in relation to new coming FR standards. Their goal was to introduce a set of performance standards for each and every kind of mattress sold in the USA. At the same time they had to evaluate the possible danger to public health from various types of chemical related exposures. Chemicals such as melamine, vinylidene chlorine, Boric Acid/zinc borate, antimony trioxide, Decabromodiphenyl Oxide, also called Deca which were the most likely FR chemical classes/chemicals to be used by manufacturers in FR treated barriers. These FR barriers could be used in order to comply with coming mattress flammability standards.
To determine and measure the amount of chemical or chemicals that could potentially be released from FR barriers the CPSCs’ Laboratory Sciences Division of Chemistry LSDS ran exposure assessments and migration studies in 3 phases. Protective FR barriers were tested to determine if there was any potential through dermal absorption, possible ingestion, or any other potential hazards associated from prolonged inhalation. They used a 10 year period of time for their study.
Their final analysis looked at both upper bound exposures and average exposures and determined that whether the exposure be by way of inhalation, oral, or a dermal manner of exposure to commercially available FR barriers was dangerous. They determined that the FR barriers are not expected to cause any substantial threat of health affects to the consumers who sleep on the FR treated mattresses.
The exact words they used in their final analysis were “not expected to pose any appreciable risk” yet the CPSC Consumer Products Safety Commission never came right out and said that the mattress FR barriers were safe. They also didn’t say that the risk from new chemical exposure percentages were lower than that of the actual risk that your mattress may actually catch fire in your home in the first place.
The new mandatory mattress rule, known as 16 CFR Part 1633 and is designed to save lives and injuries.
Thanks CPSC but no thanks for the “Safer Mattresses”.