Is memory foam harmful to a person’s health?

Is memory foam harmful for your health?

We spend quite a lot of our day on our mattress.  Our sleep also plays an integral part in maintaining good health.  So, when we go to choose a mattress and find that perfect fit we do not want to think that the materials it is made from are going to end up harming us.

What is inside a memory foam mattress?

Polyols are organic compounds that contain a group of hydroxyls.
They are mainly made up of either botanical substances such as castor beans or soy.  The can also be derived from petroleum oil ingredients.
These are used to bind the ingredients.

Blowing Agents
This is a substance that is applied when the blown material is in a liquid state.  A blowing agent is what helps the materials harden to form a foam. 
Most blowing agents are water and HFCs (Hydrofluorocarbons) amongst a few that are used.  Very seldom if at all are CFC’s (Chlorofluorocarbons) used these days.

This is the substance that reacts with the blowing agent and polyols to make a flexible polyurethane foam.
The chemical used for this process is either MDI or TDI.  MDI being the safer and less toxic of the two options. These substances have been known to cause carcinogenic, dermal sensitivity and respiratory problems.  But this issue is primarily only during the manufacturing process as after reacting they can off-gas.

VOCs or Volatile Organic compounds and Off-gassing are basically the same things.  This refers to a process where various chemicals break down at room temperature and release an odor when they do.
You can smell these in things like newly painted walls, a new doll, new car and even some clothes will give off that new smell. Some people do have allergic reactions to various mattresses but the dangers of these products are usually at the manufacturing stage of the process. Only a very small portion of the population seems to experience any effects from their memory foam mattresses.
If you are concerned about it do some research into the materials used to make the mattress.  Some companies are now opting for more organic materials that are less harmful to both humans and the environment.

Infographic by: Pinterest

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