Are Toxic PBDEs Lurking in Your Mattress?

Posted on November 11th, 2011 by author  |  22 Comments »

pbde in your mattressIf you live in California, chances are your upholstered furniture and bedding products are flame-retardant because of strict fire safety standards. But did you know that the material used for these products may be dangerous to your health? Dr. Joseph Mercola warns that flame-retardant furniture and bedding products may be filled with polybrominateddiphenyl ethers (PBDEs)that are toxic to your health.

Pregnant Women and Children are Greatly Exposed to PBDEs

A recent study observed pregnant women in California in their second trimester and found that they have the highest ever reported levels of PBDEs worldwide. The study also revealed that this chemical interferes with thyroid function (link).

In a separate study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, it was discovered that California children have PBDE levels that are seven times higher than those found in Mexican children (link). Another study noted that California children have levels that are 10 to 1,000 times higher than European children, and five times higher than other American children (link).

Dr. Mercola warns that this is also a rising problem in other parts of the U.S. because stringent fire safety standards are now causing more and more products to use PBDEs to meet regulations. This is why almost 97 percent of Americans have significantly high PBDE levels in their blood.

Health Dangers of PBDE Exposure

Dr. Mercola says that PBDEs disrupt the hormone-releasing mechanism in your body. It also alters calcium signaling in your brain, which is very important for learning and memory. Another study also said that PBDEs are linked to decreased fertility, probably because of thyroid disruption. PBDEs can decrease your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and lead to hyperthyroidism, which is dangerous for pregnant women.

Hyperthyroidism during pregnancy may cause:

  • Altered fetal neurodevelopment
  • Increased risk of miscarriage
  • Premature birth
  • Intrauterine growth retardation
  • Decreased motor skills

PBDEs are very similar to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are said to cause reproductive problems, cancer, and impaired fetal development.

Beware: PBDEs are Also Found in 80 Percent of Baby Products

Dr. Mercola warns that many baby products, like crib mattresses, contain flame-retardant chemicals. This is dangerous because children spend longer hours sleeping, with their faces very close to the mattress surface. Jumping and bouncing on the mattress can also release more toxins in the air.

Other products that contain toxic flame-retardant chemicals include:

  • Nursing pillows
  • High chairs
  • Baby car seats
  • Baby carriers
  • Changing table pads
  • Bassinets and portable cribs
  • Glider rockers
  • Baby tub inserts and bath slings
  • Strollers and walkers
  • Sleeping wedges

Other household items may also contain PBDEs:

  • Textiles
  • Carpets
  • Polyurethane foam furnishings
  • Electronics and plastics
  • Motor vehicles

How to Avoid PBDEs and PCBs

Unfortunately, manufacturers are not required to mention PBDEs in product labels. So when purchasing fire-retardant products like mattresses, furniture, carpet padding, televisions, cell phones, and computers, you should ask first what type of fire-retardant chemical they contain.

Dr. Mercola warns that aside from PBDEs and PCNs, there are other fire-retardant chemicals that can be detrimental to your health, like formaldehyde, antimony, boric acid, and brominated chemicals.

Old carpet padding and polyurethane foam products manufactured before 2005 may also contain PBDEs. Throw these out, and be careful when removing them from your home. Deca, another old source of PBDEs, are also found in electronics such as TVs, cell phones, kitchen appliances, fans, and toner cartridges.

Instead of PBDE-containing materials, choose those which contain less-flammable material like wool, leather, and cotton. Use products that are made from organic and “green” materials that are free from toxic chemicals.

Tags: , , , , ,


Responses to “Are Toxic PBDEs Lurking in Your Mattress?”

  1. heated foot bath spa review says on :

    Hello, just wanted to mention, I liked this article.
    It was practical. Keep on posting!

  2. bathtub resurfacing says on :

    When choosing a brand, consider how many more miles your car will likely
    last and if you plan to sell it in the near
    future. The re-glazing process usually takes 6 to seven
    steps. Have them come out, take some measurements, talk with you about your questions and concerns, and then quote you a price.

    Here is my blog post: bathtub resurfacing

  3. reviews of decrease weight now does decrease weight now work does decrease weight now work? real review of decrease weight now real reviews of decrease weight now forum review decrease weight now forum review of decrease weight now decrease weight now rev says on :

    Great site you’ve got here.. It’s hard to
    find quality writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate individuals like you!

    Take care!!

  4. finden Sie heraus das hier says on :

    I pay a quickk viwit everydasy a few web pages
    and websites to read articles, except this blog presnts quality based posts.

  5. Abby Mc says on :

    I just got an new wool mattress from and have been very happy with it. My allergies are better and it seems to have helped my wife with her arthritic hip. Our mattress arrived within a week of ordering it and I very happy with it. I also recommend the all natural wool pillows and comforters from

  6. Ricky says on :

    Hey I am Lucia your host for tonight athlete approved show.
    And despite the impressive firepower, it’s a great thought.

  7. independent living says on :

    Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one!

    It’s on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design.
    Wonderful choice of colors!

  8. baby cribs says on :

    Hi there it’s me, I am also visiting this web
    page daily, this web site is really pleasant and the people are truly sharing pleasant thoughts.

    Here is my web page: baby cribs

  9. Powloki Antykorozyjne says on :

    We haven’t put corrosion products the clip on, then the slag is going to come back and put it
    back in in its place, stay organized. I still do all the booking; I
    wsnt to be really relevant. I went to woirk corrosion products at a rock venue called Apollo.
    She was one of the corrosion products first songs we wrote together was
    ÄòAlone Äô in 1981 Äîa power ballad that became a number-one hit
    for Heart. Here goes the rest of Canada unfortunately causes problems of
    corrosion for these materials.

  10. enfant says on :

    I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your blog.
    Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues?
    A few of my blog audience have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera.
    Do you have any advice to help fix this issue?

  11. Tub Reglazing Orlando says on :

    I am really grateful to the owner of this web page who has shared this great paragraph at here.

    Also visit my page – Tub Reglazing Orlando

  12. Van says on :

    Everybody I mean, everybody should look at this post and gain know-how from it.
    Excellent writing!

  13. Car Accidents says on :

    Car Accidents

    Are Toxic PBDEs Lurking in Your Mattress? | Mercola – Natural Health Products & Articles

  14. Tampa Bathtub Resurfacing says on :

    Paragrah writing is also a excitement, if you know after
    that you can write otherwise it is complex to

    My web sijte :: Tampa Bathtub Resurfacing

  15. Kellee says on :

    Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!


    My page :: electric cigarette review (Kellee)

  16. blog creation sites says on :

    blog creation sites

    Are Toxic PBDEs Lurking in Your Mattress? | Mercola – Natural Health Products & Articles

  17. Caren says on :

    The regulations require that a committee spokeswoman.
    Many thought that might be time to complete a fix, if you need to be organized,
    which collapsed so catastrophically in 2005 to accepting cash and if the
    first thing you need it. Two home buyers unlicensed contractors nationwide.
    Although the benefits of hiring a contractor a method has its own challenges.

    Look into my blog … webpage (Caren)

  18. tub reglazing says on :

    I every time emailedd this website post page to all my contacts, because if like
    to read iit next my contacts will too.

    Feel free to surf to my web-site tub reglazing

  19. countertops says on :

    Hi there! Quick question that’s totally off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?

    My blog looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4. I’m trying
    to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue.
    If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!

    Visit my web page; countertops

  20. american moving and storage association insurance says on :

    If you’d prefer to relocate completely hassle-free, Professional moving corporations area unit the simplest resort.
    That is reason for hiring moving companies that are able to help you transfer easier during this time.
    And of course you will need to look for a home in your new city.

    My blog: american moving and storage association insurance

  21. moving services in Charlotte nc says on :

    For a start, they have a short product life cycle, from product development to marketing.
    Despite the conveniences your company offers to
    your customers, you may be seeing an unwanted decline in business.
    There are many ways these estimates can help you make an informed choice so you don’t end up hiring the wrong company and ending up with problems you don’t need or want
    at this stressful time in your life.

    Visit my weblog :: moving services in Charlotte nc

  22. tdmpwsn says on :

    Are Toxic PBDEs Lurking in Your Mattress? | Mercola – Natural Health Products & Articles

Leave a Reply