Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
Bedding for the Chemically Sensitive
by Lourdes Salvador
Q: I am sensitive to chemicals and have allergies. I can no longer tolerate sleeping on my mattress. What options are available for sleeping?
A: By law, mattresses must have a flame retardant. Studies have shown that these flame retardants migrate into the blood stream of humans. Even organic mattresses must contain flame retardants.
A wool wrap may be placed around a mattress filling as a flame retardant. But in most cases, a chemical flame retardant is used. Many of these chemicals have been linked to reproductive and other health problems.
Dioxin, a bleaching agent, and formaldehyde are two other troublesome chemicals which may be found in a mattress.
With a doctors prescription, an untreated mattress may be purchased. These untreated mattresses come in both organic and conventional materials. This is the first step toward a healthier bed.
Mattresses often trap dust mites and other allergens as well. Once you find a good mattress, wrap it in a barrier cloth similar to the pillow casings designed to block out allergens
Another option involves wrapping a mattress in Mylar. This is usually helpful, albeit a bit noisy. Mylar is an aluminized blanket which acts as a vapor barrier and crunches a bit like aluminum foil. The lose ends may be sealed with a tolerable aluminum tape.
Test all bedding to insure that it is not contributing to allergic or chemical reactions. Dye-free organic sheets are usually best.
If all else fails, think outside the box. Some have found suitable sleep by piling several thick blankets on the floor. Others have created softer and more comfortable beds by placing several comforters on top of a lounge chair.
When it comes to chemical sensitivity, creativity is key!
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2010 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America
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