Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Organic Furniture and Mattresses for a Healthier Home Environment

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Choosing American-made furniture is just one of the many things you can do to reduce your family's carbon footprint. The considerable difference in shipping makes for less environmental impact, getting you off to a good start.

There's more you can do to improve your home's air quality, as a result of toxins that off-gas and accumulate in your house. For instance, natural, solid wood that is not treated with a lengthy list of no-nos such as formaldehyde and glues, saves you from the health hazards of plastics and pressed woods or laminates, that often contain added amounts of these materials.

Purchasing furniture that is not made with pine will save you from the out-gases of terpenes that cause allergic reactions and are irritating.

Upholstery materials can now be obtained in organic or all-natural forms, and vinyls can be replaced with natural latex. These choices mean less off-gasing from vinyls and no residues of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers in the fabrics you spend hours sitting or laying on.

Speaking of sitting and laying for hours, think about what you spend 8 hours doing every night. Can you guess why your mattress, sheets and pajamas are the most important items you can purchase made from organic or natural materials? This is 1/3 of your life we're talking about, so give this one serious consideration.

Mattresses are made from polyurethane foam. This material is treated with flame retardants. Most mattresses made before 2005 used PDBEs, highly toxic material that puts you at great risk when spending your entire night lying on it. PDBEs have been linked in research to multiple health hazards such as cancer, thyroid hormone interruption, memory impairment and much more. Nasty stuff! 

You're probably thinking there are loads of alternatives, but sadly, the other materials used as flame retardants all have their issues. Only a natural latex mattress core will protect you from this stuff.

Have I got you thinking about replacing your mattress? I visited Green America, and their National Green Pages, a massive listing of companies that offer products and services that support a sustainable lifestyle. You'll find lots of companies to pick from at this link. Want a place to start? I learned a lot at one particular site, Erik Organic, a company that offers natural and organic furniture of all types. There are many others as well, so do your research. As you already no doubt know, buying a mattress is no small purchase. Sleep healthy.
© copyright Carrie Boyko, all rights reserved

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