Polyurethane foam is found in many different places from your furniture, walls, under the carpet, and even in personal gear such as helmets, shoes and mattresses. Because of its unique qualities, it can be found in many different places.
Is polyurethane foam exposure safe?
No. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that long-term exposure to polyurethane foam may cause Cancer, Infertility & Miscarriages, Autoimmune Issues, Neurological Disorders, Child Behavior Issues, Allergies, and Asthma.
How do VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) and other poisons from polyurethane get into our bodies?
The chemical out gassing that you smell, emanating especially from new polyurethane laden products, attaches to dust particles. When you inhale, the dust with their chemical riders enter you lungs and are absorbed into your bloodstream.
Why is Polyurethane allowed in personal items like mattresses?
There are different answers as to why it is still so widespread, but arguably the main one is that in its solid form polyurethane foam only releases a relatively tiny amount of toxic substances into the air. This means that only long-term exposure that lasts for many years will have any noticeable effect.
Besides its ubiquitous use in everyday products, polyurethane is also a main ingredient in virtually every mattress the US. So, it is nearly impossible to isolate sleeping on polyurethane as the cause of the significant increase in cancer and other chemical induced illnesses. Without a proven causal relationship between spending 8 hours a day inches away from polyurethane and health issues, there is no way to stop its use in mattresses.
How can my family avoid sleeping on polyurethane?
You spend 1/3 of your life on a mattress, sleeping inches away from polyurethane foam; breathing in it’s chemical out gassing all night, every night. Therefore, the most important first step in limiting VOC exposure in your home is getting polyurethane-free mattresses for everyone in your family.
Legally, the contents of a mattress must be recorded on its law label. This is the tag that is usually sewn on to the back of the mattress. So, if you want to sleep in a chemical-free environment, simply make sure polyurethane is not listed as an ingredient on any mattress you buy.