The safety standards of the chemicals used for fire retardants in family bedding have been challenged by consumer groups, but change is slow. There are no labeling requirements to disclose exactly what you are inhaling, or absorbing, even though these chemicals have been shown to accumulate in your blood, cause respiratory irritation, and disrupt hormonal activity.
Scientists involved in a household contaminant information study worked with the premise that alerting parents to the dangers of toxic chemicals in the home might result in a wave of fear that would.....that would what? Cause a national panic that would be worse than parents NOT knowing how to decrease poisons that they and their children inhale, and absorb through the skin? Cause a national panic that would be worse than increasing the risk of getting cancer?
One conclusion of the Silent Spring Institute's Household Exposure Study, was that mothers preferred to KNOW that their homes were a toxic soup of out gassing chemical clouds, and were not intimidated, overwhelmed, or in some way disabled by this information. These test consumers had a positive response to the information! I do not know what reality these people can be walking around in to maintain this amazingly antiquated attitude toward homemakers.
Another outcome of this study was the discovery that the awareness and concerns about the household chemicals was not matched by a knowledge of the resulting real life health hazards. So there is formaldehyde in family bedding and our clothes. What does that mean for the future health of our new born babies?
In the USA, as one example, there are no labeling requirements to notify parents that their children's bedding and clothing are treated with formaldehyde. This chemical is used in fabrics, clothing, carpets and furniture, including bedding. Formaldehyde is effective for stain resistance, and it helps to resist mildew. It also works to fix colors, prevent shrinking and to make fabrics and bedding flame resistant.
The use of formaldehyde is pervasive in all furniture, carpets, drapes, pretty well everything. Include baby strollers, baby car seats, non-organic cloth diapers, sleepers etc.
While the safety standards for preventing household fires must be a priority, what about the safety standards for limiting exposure to industrial chemicals in your homes?
What are the safety standards for clothing and furniture shops that are frequented by humans, including their newborn babies? Are these places required to filter or purifiy the out gassing clouds of formaldehyde (and PDBE fire retardants) from the air for the protection of their customers and employees? No! Why not?
Because it is more important not to scare pregnant mothers and parents about the harmful out gassing chemicals in the products. It is more important to protect them from the information that once these household products are in the house, that the polluted air will become even more asthma causing, immune system disabling, cancer causing, and hormone disrupting.
It is more important to keep the customer blissfully oblivious than to protect them from the possible eventualities of learning disorders in their children, childhood cancers, and maybe crib death.
The remaining PBDE (some have already been removed) flame retardants may be removed from bedding in the US, following the actions of Japanese and European legislators. The next round of hearings in the US are scheduled in 2011. Can you hold your breath that long?There is an alternative to such poisonous bedding!
The easiest solution for parents is to not deal with any of this. Just get organic family bedding instead. Not only will you avoid all the negativity of fighting against something, you'll have stress free, healthy, organic bedding. You can set your own safety standards in your own home.