It has been estimated that depending on the type of polyurethane used, either water-based or oil-based, the length of time that the toxic fumes of polyurethane will linger in the air will range. Memory foam is a conforming visco-elastic foam made by adding chemicals to the petrochemical foam, polyurethane. Plant-based foam is typically produced with a small percentage of soybean oil or castor oil mixed with petroleum chemicals. It’s a combination of polyols and diisocyanates. Latex foam is the perfect cushion material because it can keep its shape for 20 years. Shop now! To buy healthy pillows (and healthy home products in general), it’s so important to thoroughly read labels, conduct some thorough research and don’t hesitate to ask manufactures very specific questions about what’s in their products. So, I go get my mail tonight and in Health magazine, there is a huge write up on toxicity in our homes. Flame Retardants – Polyurethane is the flame-retardant chemical, and is used at least 2 pounds to make a single memory foam pillow. Memory foam mattresses are notorious for the initial smell, which dissipates with time. Most mattresses and pillows, for example, are filled with chemical-drenched synthetic fibers such as polyurethane foam that release chemicals into the air for years; these airborne toxins can cause headaches and nausea, and even lead to multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), a condition that stems from exposure to toxic chemicals and results in a myriad of crippling symptoms. Even the more expensive brands contain some of the most toxic substances. Although organic products may be more expensive, they are a worthy investment that will benefit you in the long run. It’s the same tree-derived material that’s used for kapok pillows. When you hear the word pollution, what do you think of? However, some expensive brands also contain these toxic substances that can cause specific problems such as skin irritation. Toss Your Toxic Pillow The levels of PBDEs in polyurethane foam pillows are among the highest in your house and the direct exposure can lead to liver damage and affect thyroid function. It appears that some of the memory foam mattresses contain toxic chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde so consider choosing an organic mattress and opt for bedding that is made out of organic and unbleached hemp, cotton or linen. If allergies to natural substances like wool or feathers are a concern, your best pillow option may be one made out of latex. The simple act of opening your windows wide open to allow fresh air inside can do wonders for your health. What are buckwheat hulls exactly? Buckwheat pillows are filled with buckwheat hulls and are touted as a hypo-allergic, eco-friendly and therapeutic pillow option. Polyurethane is widely used, with its two major applications, soft furnishings and insulation, having low thermal inertia, and hence enhanced flammability. As such, memory foams have traditionally used polybrominated diphenyl ethers (or PBDEs) for flame retardation. Polyurethane: As mentioned above, the most prominent chemical in memory foam is polyurethane. Here Are 10 Reasons Why, The Human Microbiome: How It Works + a Diet for Gut Health, How to Get Rid of Gas: 8 Natural Treatments, 9 Candida Symptoms and 3 Steps to Treat Them, How to Stop Diarrhea: Causes, Risk Factors and Home Remedies, How to Get Rid of Herpes Symptoms Naturally. Beyond the pillow fill, the outer casing itself may be treated with bleach, pesticides, or other harmful chemicals that you are touching and breathing in. The most commonly used sources are MDI and TDI, which alone in raw forms can cause respiratory and dermal sensitization and may be carcinogenic. Memory foam is made by adding non-toxic chemicals to polyurethane foam, increasing its density and viscosity. [The Ultimate Spray Foam Insulation Guide] In addition to its health benefits, Green Polyurethane has other advantages. Other toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, antimony trioxide, polyvinyl chloride, boric acid and different types of petrochemicals are mixed with polyurethane to make memory foam. Unfortunately they can contain toxic ingredients which will continue to off-gas for the user to breathe in. Polyurethane is a flame retardant found in foam that is used to make pillows as well as mattresses, couches, all kinds of upholstered furniture, carpet padding and even electronics. A memory foam pillow is made with visco-elastic polyurethane. MDI is regarded as the safer and less toxic option, and is known to be the least hazardous organic isocyanate. Buckwheat hull pillows are sometimes suggested for people with osteoarthritis, moderate to severe disc degeneration and spinal stenosis. Is Thermoset Polyurethane Foam Toxic? For example, a very lightly filled organic wool pillow may be your best pillow option if you’re a stomach sleeper (more on why you ideally don’t want to be a stomach sleeper later in this section). In high school, I had a memory foam pillow that I loved so much I took it with me when I had a sleepover at a friend’s house. The Problem: Pillows labeled “hypoallergenic” may relieve sneezing, but they’re stuffed with polyester and foam, which are made from crude oil. No one ever really thinks of indoor air quality or associates pollution with their comfy pillow, mattresses and bed sheets. 1,097 polyurethane foam toxic products are offered for sale by suppliers on Alibaba.com, of which plastic sheets accounts for 2%, adhesives & sealants accounts for 1%. Essentia. Hopefully, you’re about to find the pillow that will be perfect for you in every way! The higher density foam will shape according to your body heat. You can learn more about memory foam … Kapok is said to be hypoallergenic, mold resistant, water resistant and quick drying. 20 Strategies to Fall Asleep Fast! The problem is that the foam is usually made from a chemical called polyurethane. You can learn more about memory foam here. Our team aims to be not only thorough with its research, but also objective and unbiased. However, many human-made ingredients which we used ourselves around the home each day are also classified as toxic. A popular pillow choice is one filled with foam. Polyurethane foam itself is thought to be potentially toxic because of the many ingredients that go into making it, which themselves are classified as toxic. Buy top selling products like Copper Fit™ Angel Side/Back Sleeper Bed Pillow and Therapedic® Oversized Backrest Pillow. Is your pillow toxic? If you’re sleeping on a polyurethane or memory foam pillow, you may want to reevaluate. Is polyurethane foam toxic? The higher density foam will shape according to your body heat. One of the perks of buckwheat pillows is that they can easily adjust to your desired shape and firmness. Is Polyurethane Foam Safe . They’re also 30% more resistant to chemical degradation and 20% more resistant to wear. Some flame retardants use chemicals that have been linked to endocrine disruption, neurological damage and cancer. Change your bed linens every week and a half. Generally, cheaper products tend to be harmful especially for babies and old sleepers. Some people say it’s a great neck support pillow while others say this is not the best pillow for neck pain. So, I go get my mail tonight and in Health magazine, there is a huge write up on toxicity in our homes. Just make sure it’s a 100 percent natural latex. Polyurethane is made when methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI) react with polyols. Opting for an organic pillow made of natural materials is a healthy, eco-friendly choice (and you won’t have to sacrifice comfort either). ... Milemont Memory Foam Pillow, Cervical Pillow for Neck Pain, Orthopedic Contour Pillow Support for Back, Stomach, Side Sleepers, Pillow for Sleeping, CertiPUR-US, Standard Size. Buy top selling products like Copper Fit™ Angel Side/Back Sleeper Bed Pillow and Therapedic® Oversized Backrest Pillow. Kapok is the perfect plant-based alternative to down since it has that same fluffy feel without the feathers. But no matter if you sleep on your back, side or stomach, I hope you will soon be resting your head on a chemical-free pillow if you’re not doing so already. The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. The special weave blocks the entry of dust mites, along with pet dander and bed bugs. Even the more expensive brands contain some of the most toxic substances. All of the pillows just mentioned are available with an organic cotton cover, but 100 percent organic cotton pillows are organic cotton both inside and out. Like wool pillows, you can find natural latex pillows with an organic cotton outer covering. (13) Even though natural latex pillows have a bit of a bounce to them, they tend to be very firm, making them a better choice for side and back sleepers. Formaldehyde may be better known for being found in furniture and other wood products, but it can also be found in some pillows! Kapok is also used as stuffing for toys and cushions. Once ignited, flexible polyurethane foam can burn rapidly, generating great heat and dangerous and potentially toxic gases that can be harmful and fatal to people if inhaled in sufficient quantities. I recommend replacing any hypoallergenic pillow stuffed with synthetic fiber and buying pillows that are made out of natural materials like the ones listed below. are clickable links to medically peer-reviewed studies. My guess is that images of factories full of smoke come to mind, or rivers and oceans filled with debris, oil and sludge. MDI and TDI both need to be handled carefully during the manufacturing process. When shopping for a pillow, it’s important to look for organic and natural materials. About 1% of these are Adhesives & Sealants. Is Polyurethane Safe . Organic bedding, whether pillows or blankets, is the natural choice. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) You may also consider purchasing an allergy encasement for your mattress. In fact, foam is … Another way to detox your bedroom is to simply air your mattress. These fabrics stay fresh-looking with regular spot cleaning. If you’re not looking for a chemistry lesson, just know that polyurethane is an organic plastic that’s highly flexible, which makes it great for mattresses. Most memory foam is made of polyurethane and it’s usually more toxic than your standard polyurethane foam, though they are not all the same. There are plenty of other options that are both safe and comfortable. Years later, the EPA was able to get principal manufacturers and importers of another PBDE (c-decaBDE) to agree to reducing the manufacture, import and sales of c-decaBDE starting in 2010, with all sales to cease by December 31, 2013. The workers who make polyurethane foam must wear a full-body protective gear and respirators. Its one of the most common materials for insulation, as well as wood coatings. The only non-toxic memory foam out there is Essentia, which is natural latex-based Sadly, that pillow you’re putting your head on every single night could be described as “dangerous” or “health hazardous,” and I’m about to tell you why. This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by our trained editorial staff. This substance is not safe for use in the U.S. since 2004 due to health concerns. However, unlike natural latex pillows, memory foam pillows are made with polyurethane and several other synthetic chemicals. I’ve previously shared some healthy and delicious millet recipes, but did you know that millet is also used as a natural, hypoallergenic pillow filling? I just bought a 100% polyurethane foam pillow! The Back Buddy pillow was designed by a Chiropractor and is made from high-quality structural foam which is certified by CertiPUR-US to be made WITHOUT harmful PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (”Tris”) flame retardants, phthalates, CFC’s, formaldehyde, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals. For example, the Green Polyurethane coatings contain zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are 100% solids-based. Memory foam. Federal consumer safety regulations led to putting flame retardant chemicals into the foam. Emergency room doctors are trained to stay cool and focused in the ... Can’t Sleep? Ironically, tonight I saw a news report- this man worked in a mattress factory and shed light on toxicity of chemicals on mattresses--it was like boric acid, for fire retardant. The pillow cover is also made of pesticide free cotton. A memory foam pillow is made with visco-elastic polyurethane. The problem is that this foam often mainly consists of something called polyurethane. If you’re someone who is particularly sensitive to allergens, we recommend a pillow allergy cover. Or you may be thinking, what is the best pillow for me? Drug-resistance is also an ongoing concern with infections caused by Aspergillus since the fungus can be so difficult to eradicate completely. Polyurethane Cancer Risk . However, people with weakened immune systems or lung diseases are at a higher risk of developing health problems due to Aspergillus. Compared to regular foams, it’s more resistant to distortion yet malleable enough to take the shape you’re looking for. Another reason to opt for a chemical-free pillow is to avoid dangerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Changing your pillow is one great way to reduce exposure to toxins. The only truly non toxic memory foam pillow, Essentia offers a variety of molded natural memory foam … Memory foam pillows are made with polyurethane, which is considered highly combustible. Unlike natural latex which derives from rubber tree sap, these synthetic foams are man-made and may be off-gassing harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and benzene. SleepBetter CoolZone Memory Foam Side Sleeper Pillow 5.7 Cm (2.25 In.) Another great chemical free pillow option is one made from organic cotton. As we discussed previously, oil-based polyurethane has a longer dry and cure time than water-based polyurethane, which makes it more hazardous in the environment for a longer period of time. Polyurethane foam or poly-foam is more bouncy than memory foam. We spend about a third of our lives sleeping so the sheets we crawl into every night are just as important as the clothes we slip on in the morning as we get ready to start our day. They can be better than a lot of the synthetic options, but I have some more unique ideas that you may enjoy even more. Breathing the Chemicals. Polyurethane Foam Mattress Health Risk . The 9 Best Yoga Poses for Your Gut [Digest + Detox], Secret Detox Drink Recipe (A Natural Detox Drink Recipe), Pho Recipe — a Gut-Friendly Vietnamese Soup, How to Get Rid of Bags Under the Eyes: 13 Easy, Natural Ways, The Best Sunscreens, Toxic Ones to Avoid & the State of Sunscreen in America, The Gut-Brain Connection: How It Works + How to Support It, The Leaky Gut Diet and Treatment Plan, Including Top Gut Foods, Dangers of Toxic Positivity + What to Do Instead, How to Stop a Panic Attack in Its Tracks, According to an ER Doc, Always Have A Bloated Stomach? There are however a lot of natural choices of pillow filling too. If you’ve found yourself shopping for a crib mattress anytime in the last 70 years, chances are you’ve found yourself choosing between mattresses made largely from flexible polyurethane foam.. Is a polyurethane pillow safe? More recently in 2005, researchers in England reported that the average pillow contains millions of fungal spores. That depends on several variables including your favorite sleep positions and body needs. inight Memory Foam Pillow, Ventilated Pillows for Sleeping, Back & Side Sleeper Pillow, Oeko -TEX & CertiPUR-US, Medium Firm - White 4.4 out of 5 stars 600 $29.99 $ 29 . In particular, TDI is a suspected carcinogenic, is classified as very toxic, and is a known respiratory and skin irritant. Some people are also allergic to polyurethane, which is the main component of every memory foam pillow. Luckily, you don’t have to rest your head on a toxic pillow. The pillows’ filling is made from 100% patented open cell polyurethane foam which makes them shapeable, fluffable, and easy to fold. Latex-based foam. Opinions really seem to vary. It’s a pillow made from kapok, which is a soft material similar to cotton that comes from the seed pods of the kapok (Ceiba pentandra) tree. 99. Kapok is actually the fluffy fiber that surrounds the seeds. It’s a combination of polyols and diisocyanates. Polyurethane foam is used in items which include memory foam mattresses, children's furniture, and pillows. Yuck! Now, of course, I know that memory foam is some of the most toxic stuff in our homes and definitely not something you want to press your face against all night. Fabric made with polyurethane foam is becoming increasingly popular and is a modern alternative to traditional fabrics. The popular memory foam pillows that most people use are made of polyurethane foam. Flame-Retardants. This fungus may also be responsible for increasing the symptoms of asthma and allergic sinusitis. Sleep position note: The best pillow for side sleepers as well as back sleepers may be a buckwheat pillow. So are feather pillows any good? Our team includes licensed nutritionists and dietitians, certified health education specialists, as well as certified strength and conditioning specialists, personal trainers and corrective exercise specialists. Both are usually recommended for side and back sleepers. A wide variety of polyurethane foam toxic options are available to you, such as classification, material, and usage. Sleep position note: Similar to cotton pillows, wool pillows can be found in light, medium and firm filling weights so you can choose according to your preference and favorite sleep position. The odor results from the breakdown of the volatile organic compounds that occurs. And of course, I’m about to answer this very important question: What are the best and healthiest pillows? To ensure you’re getting truly natural latex, you may have to question the manufacturer as sometimes website claims can be misleading. The Happsy pillow is not a great fit for me as a sometimes side-sleeper. Polyurethanes in their natural state are usually considered to be biochemically inert and will not pose a threat to the environment or pose problems for consumer use. Polyurethane comes in many shapes and forms. Synthetic: Memory Foam. 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