The Hidden Hormone Disruptors Inside Your Mattress

Home of Wool - The Hidden Hormone Disruptors Inside Your Mattress

In today’s world, there are over 100,000 chemicals in use, but only a small fraction has been adequately tested for potential human health effects. Surprisingly, conventional mattresses often contain undisclosed chemicals, making them a notable source of daily chemical exposure that can affect our well-being and metabolism. Given that we spend one-third of our life in bed, understanding its composition is essential for promoting a healthier lifestyle as some of the most dangerous mattress chemicals can act as endocrine disruptors that damage your hormonal system.

What Are Hormone Disruptors?

What precisely constitutes an endocrine disruptor? It’s a substance that imitates or hinders the body’s endocrine system, responsible for regulating hormones. These disruptors are prevalent in numerous products, from plastic containers to personal care items, and have been associated with issues concerning the immune system, brain, reproductive system, as well as developmental complications in children.

Individuals are commonly exposed to multiple endocrine disruptors in their daily routines, making it challenging for researchers to determine the specific impact each one has on human health.

Are There Hormone Disruptors in My Mattress?

Yes, you will be surprised as to the number of chemical substances present in conventional mattresses. If your mattress is made from memory foam, polytherane foam, or synthetic latex, chances are you are in close contact with harmful substances.

The tag on a traditional mattress might proudly proclaim it to be crafted entirely from memory foam, yet it conveniently overlooks the hazardous toxins and chemicals integral to memory foam production.

In an independent laboratory examination conducted in accordance with ASTM Standards (American Society for Testing and Materials) and EPA ETV Protocol (Environmental Protection Agency), a single memory foam mattress purchased from a renowned company was found to emit a staggering total of 61 VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) chemicals! This comprises a lengthy roster of perilous, potentially hazardous, and untested chemicals that you unwittingly absorb through your skin, mouth, eyes, and nose every day and night.

Some of the most common endocrine disruptors are types of VOCs and fire retardants. In this article, we will separate them into two categories even though they overlap in terms of chemical properties and behavior and try to list and explain the dangers of the most prominent culprits.

VOCs Alter Your Hormones and Damage Your Health

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gaseous emissions from solids or liquids, present in products ranging from deodorants and paints to mattresses. VOCs are easily vaporized at room temperature and contain at least one carbon atom, making them “organic.”

Certain VOCs have noticeable smells, resembling citrus, oil, gasoline, or even fish. VOCs contribute to the recognizable “new mattress” or “new car” scents, but they persist and even intensify with heat exposure.

These chemicals are harmful to the human body and cause a wide array of alignments, with hormonal disruption being a major side effect.

Home of Wool - The Hidden Hormone Disruptors Inside Your Mattress - memory foam

Phthalates Damage Young and Old People

It’s important to acknowledge that there remains uncertainty regarding the exact effects of phthalates on human health. While most evidence of harm from phthalates comes from animal studies, their impact on humans as hormone disruptors is less clear. Additionally, the level of phthalate exposure that is considered harmful is still unknown.

However, based on research in animals and observations in humans, there are suspicions that exposure to phthalates, particularly during pregnancy or childhood, could lead to various health issues in children, such as genital defects, behavioral problems, inflammation, and other concerns. In adults, phthalate exposure is associated with reproductive problems like early puberty in girls, sperm damage in men, thyroid disorders, and menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.

Phthalates are known to disrupt the body’s hormone balance, potentially causing hormonal imbalances. Phthalates can interfere with estrogen receptors, potentially leading to early breast development, ovulation problems, and conditions like endometriosis, which is influenced by estrogen.

Some studies suggest that phthalate metabolites may lower testosterone levels in women, resulting in decreased libido and muscle weakness. Additionally, research indicates a possible link between phthalate exposure and sleep disturbances during menopause, although more research is needed to confirm this connection.

Formaldehyde is Especially Harmful to Pregnant Women

Certain memory foam mattresses may contain a range of heavy industrial chemicals, including formaldehyde. Utilized as an adhesive in mattresses, formaldehyde serves as a preservative. It has the potential to irritate the nose, throat, and skin, and may elevate the likelihood of experiencing coughing and wheezing, as indicated by the EPA. However, this toxic chemical may have far more serious effects on the human body, specifically pregnant women.

In a study, a thorough summary of research on how formaldehyde affects human reproduction and development suggests that exposure to formaldehyde may increase the risk of problems like miscarriage and other pregnancy issues. Evidence from animal studies also supports this, showing that formaldehyde exposure can lead to reproductive and developmental problems in different species due to its function as a hormone disruptor.

Home of Wool - The Hidden Hormone Disruptors Inside Your Mattress - pregnancy

While there’s still more to learn about how formaldehyde affects reproduction, based on what is known so far, it’s clear that exposure to formaldehyde could be harmful to human health as it crosses the human placenta and disrupts the hormonal functions within the womb. Given that, it is especially harmful to women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as well as young children, who are more vulnerable to its effects.

PFAS Are After Your Hormones

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of man-made chemicals used in various products for their water and stain-resistant properties. They are found in mattresses, often in the form of PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals), which are a subset of PFAS.

In terms of health effects related to human hormones, PFAS have been linked to endocrine disruption. These chemicals can interfere with hormone production, regulation, and function in the body, potentially leading to various health issues.

Specifically, PFAS exposure has been associated with disruptions in thyroid hormone levels, which play a crucial role in regulating metabolism, growth, and development. Additionally, PFAS exposure has been linked to alterations in sex hormone levels, potentially affecting reproductive health and development.

Fire Retardants Are Notorious Hormone Disruptors

In response to fire-related deaths from smoking in bed, U.S. lawmakers mandated fire-resistant mattresses. Manufacturers achieved compliance by treating materials with flame retardants or using non-combustible fire barriers.

Polyurethane foam’s high flammability led to treatment with chemicals like boric acid, antimony, or halogenated flame retardants. Since this regulation’s introduction in 1973, mattress fires decreased, but concerns linger about the impact of these chemicals on health, especially the endocrine system.

Dangerous for Your Thyroid

Researchers discovered that women who had the highest levels of flame retardants in their blood were more likely to have thyroid issues, especially after menopause. Specifically, women with higher levels of certain flame retardants, like PBDE, were more likely to have thyroid problems compared to those with lower levels.

This connection was even stronger in postmenopausal women where such hormone disruptors can have more potency.

Home of Wool - The Hidden Hormone Disruptors Inside Your Mattress - health issues

Hormonal Imbalance and Heart Problems

Phillip Kopf, PhD, an assistant professor at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, IL, and his team conducted a study to understand how PBDEs affect a hormone called aldosterone. Aldosterone is crucial for regulating salt and water balance in the body and helps stabilize blood pressure by acting on the kidneys.

The researchers exposed human adrenal cells to different doses of a common PBDE flame retardant in lab dishes and compared the effects to cells exposed only to an inactive substance used to deliver the chemical. Although the PBDE doses used in the study were higher than what’s typically found in human blood, they are known to accumulate in the adrenal gland where their concentrations are higher. Additionally, the duration of exposure in the study was much shorter than real-life exposure, lasting only three days.

The cells exposed to PBDEs showed increased secretion of aldosterone, which could lead to elevated levels of this hormone in the blood. Previous research has linked elevated aldosterone levels to high blood pressure, blood clot formation, thickening of the heart muscle, and congestive heart failure.

Mimics Estrogen and Causes Hormonal Problems

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have used advanced imaging techniques to understand how certain flame retardants, known as brominated flame retardants (BFRs), can imitate estrogen hormones in the body and potentially disrupt the endocrine system. BFRs are chemicals added to materials to slow down or prevent fires.

Their study, led by Dr. Linda Birnbaum from NIH, focused on a widely used BFR called tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA). They found that TBBPA can bind to proteins in the body similarly to how natural estrogen does, which can affect hormone balance and potentially lead to health issues.

This research is important because disrupting the endocrine system can affect various bodily functions, such as growth, reproduction, and response to stress. Flame retardants like TBBPA are found in many consumer products like electronics, furniture, and mattresses, and they can persist in the environment, exposing people to various sources like dust and food.

Using X-ray crystallography, the researchers created 3-D models showing how TBBPA binds to proteins in the body. This technique allows them to see the atomic-level interactions between flame retardants and enzymes in the body. Their findings highlight the potential health risks associated with exposure to flame retardants and their role as hormone disruptors.

Is Natural Wool the Solution?

Polyurethane foam and other synthetic substances are crafted to replicate the inherent qualities of organic materials like wool which has evolved over millions of years and has been reliably used by people for millennia. All-natural wool does not need chemicals, fire retardants, additives, or heavy processing. It’s a complete end-product from nature that provides comfort, health, and sustainability.

Home of Wool - The Hidden Hormone Disruptors Inside Your Mattress - wool

Wool Is Naturally Fire Resistant

Wool possesses natural fire-resistant properties due to its unique composition. Its high water content helps dissipate heat and slow down combustion. The protein structure of wool fibers resists ignition by charring and forming a protective layer when exposed to heat.

Additionally, the dense and complex structure of wool limits the flow of oxygen, which is essential for combustion, thus impeding sustained burning. Natural compounds like lanolin in wool release gases that prevent flame formation, further enhancing its fire-resistant qualities.

Due to these inherent attributes, US law does not require wool mattresses to incorporate chemical fire retardants. Wool’s distinctive characteristics enable it to meet flammability standards outlined in regulations such as 16 CFR 1633 and 16 CFR 1632 without the need for additional chemicals.

This exemption acknowledges that wool’s natural properties effectively provide fire resistance, eliminating the necessity for extra chemical treatments. Wool doesn’t contain hormone disruptors.

Certified Wool Is VOCs-Free

Home of Wool’s natural wool mattresses are free from chemicals, dyes, bleaches, and fire retardants. They do not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are completely safe for individuals of all ages, including newborns.

Our mattresses contain no harmful toxins that could negatively impact health or disrupt sleep patterns. Offering a safe environment conducive to deep, restorative sleep, our GOTS and Oeko-Tex certified wool mattresses provide peace of mind and promote overall well-being without the fear of hormone disruptors.

Perfect Temperature Regulation, Hygiene, and Comfort

Thanks to its unique fiber structure, wool offers exceptional breathability, ensuring unparalleled comfort. It keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter, facilitating year-round restorative sleep. With wool, you have control over your body temperature, minimizing night sweats and sleep disturbances.

Its breathability prevents heat-trapping, allowing your body to rest comfortably within a healthy temperature range. There is no need for toxic additives that may contain hormone disruptors since wool has all the necessary natural properties to provide you with comfortable hygienic sleep.

Home of Wool - The Hidden Hormone Disruptors Inside Your Mattress - wool-filled mattress

Wool mattresses support healthy sleep postures by evenly distributing body weight and alleviating pressure points, joint pain, and muscle discomfort. Unlike other materials, wool’s springy fibers provide optimal support without compromising joint and back health, offering a comfortable foundation for restorative sleep.

At Home of Wool, we prioritize transparency regarding the content and source of our products. We exclusively use the finest quality pure and natural materials, without compromising your health or sleep quality. Our wool is certified by GOTS  and sourced from small local farms known for their humane practices.

 

Shop Now

  • Home of Wool natural wool-filled mattressHome of Wool natural handmade wool-filled mattress
    Prices from $899

    One-of-a-kind handmade wool mattress for the healthiest and most restorative sleep. Lay on the lavish amounts of pristine wool to experience unparalleled comfort. The springy wool fibers support your body and promote a healthy posture. Upgrade your sleep with heat and moisture regulation unlike any other material, keeping you cool in the summer or warm in the winter, allowing you to sleep longer and more restful. Experience uninterrupted sleep with complete motion isolation between the partners. Encased in luxurious organic cotton, wool, and linen fabrics.

    Completely chemical-free, with no off-gassing and zero VOCs. Hypoallergenic and suitable for people with chemical sensitivities, including MCS. Naturally dust mite and mildew-resistant, antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, and flame-resistant wool filling for the purest sleep environment. Naturally increased fire safety in your home without flame retardants. 100% biodegradable,
    using only sustainable renewable materials, with care for our planet.

    Need help choosing from the options? Read our guide.

    [vc_tta_accordion c_icon="chevron" active_section="0" collapsible_all="true" style="flat"][vc_tta_section title="FEATURES" tab_id="1685086516339-8d67aa6d-2fec"][vc_column_text]

    • Handles for easy flipping and moving.
    • Wool bows on tufts for durability.
    • Durable metal zippers on the sides so you can easily adjust, add or remove wool if necessary (plastic zippers upon request)
    • Hand-tufted with natural linen thread through the whole item to keep the filling in place.
    • Complimentary mending kit.

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion]

  • Home of Wool split mattress in 2 side by side pieces - zipped and unzipped
    Prices from $1629

    One-of-a-kind handmade wool mattress for the healthiest and most restorative sleep. Lay on the lavish amounts of pristine wool to experience unparalleled comfort. The springy wool fibers support your body and promote a healthy posture. Upgrade your sleep with heat and moisture regulation unlike any other material, keeping you cool in the summer or warm in the winter, allowing you to sleep longer and more restful. Experience uninterrupted sleep with complete motion isolation between the partners. Encased in luxurious organic cotton, wool, and linen fabrics.

    Completely chemical-free, with no off-gassing and zero VOCs. Hypoallergenic and suitable for people with chemical sensitivities, including MCS. Naturally dust mite and mildew-resistant, antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, and flame-resistant wool filling for the purest sleep environment. Naturally increased fire safety in your home without flame retardants. 100% biodegradable,
    using only sustainable renewable materials, with care for our planet.

    Need help choosing from the options? Read our guide.

    [vc_tta_accordion c_icon="chevron" active_section="0" collapsible_all="true" style="flat"][vc_tta_section title="FEATURES" tab_id="1685086157931-bc7eccbe-3f82"][vc_column_text]

    • Handles for easy flipping and moving.
    • Wool bows on tufts for durability.
    • Durable metal zippers on the sides so you can easily adjust, add or remove wool if necessary (plastic zippers upon request)
    • Hand-tufted with natural linen thread through the whole item to keep the filling in place.
    • Complimentary mending kit.

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion]

  • Home of Wool mini crib wool mattress with 3-day deliveryHome of Wool all-natural mini crib wool mattress with cotton fabric cover
    Prices from $229

    This wool-filled pad fits KootaCrib.

    Handcrafted with the finest natural materials to combine comfort and health for your child. Made without chemicals and synthetics, including no glues and flame retardants, as wool is naturally flame resistant. Your child is safe from the harmful effects of toxins found in synthetic materials. Extremely breathable, wool provides unparalleled body moisture and temperature regulation in any season for longer and more restful sleep. Naturally supportive, yet soft-to-the-touch.

    Dust mite and mildew resistant, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial. Offering no off-gassing and zero VOCs. Hypoallergenic and suitable for people with chemical sensitivities. 100% biodegradable using only sustainable renewable materials.

    Use as a floor or bench cushion when your baby outgrows the crib.

    [vc_tta_accordion c_icon="chevron" active_section="0" collapsible_all="true" style="flat"][vc_tta_section title="FEATURES" tab_id="1685974006495-7f110f33-46a4"][vc_column_text]

    • Shallow tufts for a flat surface.
    • 100% wool batting filling in 5 layers of 400 gsm and 1 layer of 300 gsm.
    • Hand-tufted with natural linen thread to keep the filling in place.
    • No piping on the edges.
    • Complimentary mending kit.

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion]

  • Home-of-Wool-organic-wool-filled-crib-mattresses---open-zipper-stuffing-detailHome of Wool crib mattress with open zipper - detail on the wool filling
    Prices from $628

    Handcrafted with the finest natural materials to combine comfort and health for your child. Made without chemicals and synthetics, including no glues and flame retardants, as wool is naturally flame resistant. Your child is safe from the harmful effects of toxins found in synthetic materials. Extremely breathable, wool provides unparalleled body moisture and temperature regulation in any season for longer and more restful sleep. Naturally supportive, yet soft-to-the-touch.

    Dust mite and mildew resistant, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial. Offering no off-gassing and zero VOCs. Hypoallergenic and suitable for people with chemical sensitivities. 100% biodegradable using only sustainable renewable materials.

    Use as a floor or bench cushion when your baby outgrows the crib.

    [vc_tta_accordion c_icon="chevron" active_section="0" collapsible_all="true" style="flat"][vc_tta_section title="FEATURES" tab_id="1685973225730-84b8f844-e9cf"][vc_column_text]

    • Shallow tufts for a flat surface.
    • Durable zippers on the sides so you can easily adjust, add or remove wool if necessary.
    • Hand-tufted with natural linen thread to keep the filling in place.
    • Complimentary mending kit.

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

twenty + 13 =