Foam Allergies

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foam allergiesAllergies relating to foam has grown over the past 50 years as this soft, flexible material has found it’s way into furniture and bedding.

Is Foam an Allergen?

The primary reason why foam may be an allergen is because of off-gassing of chemicals used in the manufacturing process. Foam products may emit volatile organic compounds (VOC) vapors from chemicals used during their manufacture.

Most foam products are oil-based and may contain PolyBrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE) which are widely used as a flame retardant. PBDE’s have already been banned in Europe and future “to be banned” list in a few states in the United States. California banned the sale of  furniture and bedding products containing PBDE’s in 2008. PBDE’s are believed to accumulate in human body tissue and may pose future health issues.  This has lead to concerns they might be carcinogenic.

Foam found in traditional mattress and furniture products is ALWAYS in a state of breaking-down and out-gassing. As a result, chemical compounds can be measured from foam products during their lifetime depending on various environmental conditions such as heat and moisture.

Organic or natural latex mattresses are recommended for persons wishing to avoid products which contain PBDE’s.

About the author:

John Davis Smith owns and operates a bedding store in Los Angeles, California which specializes in hypoallergenic bedding products.

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