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Organic Non-Toxic Crib Mattresses - Are they important?

Over the last 30 years, crib mattress materials have been replaced with petroleum-based synthetics. Nearly all crib mattresses in use today contain polyurethane foam, vinyl (PVC), phthalates, chemical fire retardants or barriers, and an extensive list of added industrial chemicals. Recent studies have questioned the use of these materials.   

To ensure a non-toxic environment for baby’s safety and comfort, look for mattresses that are made from materials such as organic cotton, pure wool, or pure natural rubber. The mattresses should not contain harmful chemicals or known allergens.  They should also have a practical design and be made of materials independently tested from a third party testing facility.  

Let’s talk about mattress materials  Certified organic cotton is grown without pesticides, fertilizers, or GMO’s (genetically modified organisms).  The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is one of the oldest and most reputable certification agencies.  OEKO-TEX 100 certified ensured the cotton yarns used in production are safe for infants and free of harmful chemicals and substances.   Another material is pure organic wool. A benefit of pure wool is a lower flammability content which keeps the need for chemical fire retardants at bay.  Wool is also anti-microbial and hypoallergenic, a natural insulator keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer, and is sustainable, biodegradable, and eco-friendly.  It is best to stay away from chemically treated foam.

If searching for a waterproof mattress, choose models made from polyethylene which is environmentally friendly as opposed to vinyl and PVC.  Any fire protection should be non-toxic and natural.  
An example from Naturepedic is a fire protection system based on baking soda, hydrated silica and cellulose fiber.  As a general rule, organic cotton and wool are less flammable than conventional materials of polyurethane foam or latex.  

Naturepedic and Pure Rest are brands specializing in organic mattresses and produced through fair trade practices.

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