Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Protest this!

This alarming news came to me via the Feingold Organization. I see a real difference in the Boy's behavior when he's been exposed to chemicals. The Girl is at an increased risk of asthma. Plus God only knows what types of cancer risks this action would lead to. I'm not an hysteric, and I realize plenty of people might roll their eyes, but honestly. [Edited to add: If you are opposed, please contact the CPSC: email:, fax: 301-504-0127, mail: Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207–0001 Comments should be captioned ‘‘Mattress NPR.’’]

"The CPSC admits they have no exposure data and cannot do a quantitative risk analysis. Instead, they say they are doing a qualitative analysis, by relying on
staff’s professional judgment. In other words, they are guessing. They say study will be ongoing, meaning they will test our entire population, and if they later find human damage, it is the responsibility of other government agencies to ban that specific chemical.

Boric Acid (Roach Killer) exists as loose dust mixed with the cotton batting. There is 1.5 lbs of Boric Acid in the surface of a Queen mattress. Antimony Trioxide is also included in the mixture. This is the least expensive barrier system to flameproof mattresses. The other systems aren't much better, none of them are safe.

Boric Acid (yes, the Roach Killer), Formaldehyde, Melamine, Antimony Trioxide, Vinylidiene Chloride, Zinc Borate, and Decabromodiphenyl Oxide (Brominated flame retardant now being found in women’s breast milk) are the main chemicals being used to flameproof mattresses. Many of these chemicals cause cancer. Some are known to be a
reproductive and developmental toxin: high prenatal mortality, birth defects, reduced fertility, sterility. Liver, kidney, brain, and heart muscle damage are only some effects. Aside from inhalation absorption, some of these chemicals can kill from skin contact alone.

If our government guesses correctly, that it is safe for everyone to sleep in these chemicals, we may save up to 300 people from fire. However, our exposure in mattresses is intimate and chronic. If they are wrong, and they have been wrong in the past, they could harm or kill up to 300 million people. All of us sleep on a mattress. The risk is huge. Hippocrates left us with the admonition: "First do no harm.”