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Every night, millions of children and adults sleep on mattresses treated with a class of chemicals that was long ago banned from sheepdips and pesticides. Every day, we sit on furniture containing the same toxic compounds, absorbing them through our lungs and skin. According to parliament’s environmental audit committee (EAC), mothers in the UK and the US have the world’s highest recorded concentrations of a toxic class of flame retardants in their breastmilk. Banned fire retardants have recently been discovered in umbilical cord blood. We have no clear idea of how they might affect the development and future health of foetuses. But we know that they are persistent, accumulative and associated with cancer and disruption of the hormonal and reproductive systems.
In this complicated world we live in, the materials used in mattresses are no exception. There are many good reasons why you just can’t say natural materials are good and manmade are bad. Most poisons, neurotoxins and allergens are virtually all natural! If you look at any material hard enough you will find pros and cons.
There are so many articles available about the negative impact of fire retardant chemicals on human health and the environment. A simple google search will bring up a whole host of articles, many of which focus on the US legal battles with the chemical companies.
Should I be concerned about fire retardants in my child’s mattress? Yes.
Children are vulnerable to the toxic effects of these chemicals because their brain and other organs are still developing. Researchers have found that children have higher concentrations of flame retardants in their bodies than adults.
Please find below links to the most recent research into the effect of flame retardants on children's health.