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Mattresses Emitting Higher Levels of VOCs During Sleep

Image Credit: Service Champions

Researchers are studying mattresses to see if we should be concerned.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be extremely dangerous to our health. Household items such as furniture, paint, and electronics have been known to emit these compounds. But, now, we can add mattresses to the list.

The levels of VOCs from mattresses could lead to serious problems down the line. Any kind of exposure to high levels of volatile organic compounds can cause eye, nose and throat irritation. It is also known to cause headaches and could even lead to cancer (though, to be fair, what doesn’t these days?). When sleeping, people could be inhaling the VOCs due to poor ventilation and the proximity of their face to the mattress.

Researchers looked at eight different infant, toddler, and youth polyurethane mattresses and see what the risks currently are as well as considering how the temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide concentration can affect emissions.

Their findings showed that mattresses released more VOCs when the temperature was elevated to simulate body heat. They did find, however, that the number of VOCs that were being inhaled by adults, infants, and children were well below the cancer risk levels for their compounds.

Further studies will be needed to determine how dangerous this could potentially be. But, in preliminary studies, the mattresses were not emitting enough of the compound to cause concern. With the constant upgrading of mattresses and ways to add comfort to our sleeping ability, researchers will need to keep up with the new kinds of mattresses to make sure they are keeping us safe while we are sleeping.