19815 Bay Branch Rd
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
(334) 222-2523
HELPLINE: 1-877-530-0002



Facebook    

 

SCAMHC is an approved Mental Health site for the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment program.  Find out the program details and see if you qualify by visiting: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

SCAMHC is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer and maintains a Drug-Free Workplace

 

 

 

 


powered by centersite dot net
Wellness and Personal Development
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Health Tip: Waking Up Without CaffeineSleeping Too Long Might Raise Stroke RiskAHA News: Cold Heart Facts: Why You Need to Watch Out in WinterHave a Purpose, Have a Healthier LifeAn 'Epidemic of Loneliness' in America? Maybe NotHealth Tip: The Importance of HydrationHealthy Lifestyle, Regular Screening May Keep Cancer at BayBPA Levels in Humans Are Underestimated: StudyHow Well Are You Aging? A Blood Test Might TellDistracted by Their Smartphones, Pedestrians Are Landing in the ERAntarctic Study Shows Isolation, Monotony May Change the Human BrainAre E-Scooters a Quick Ticket to the ER?Sleep Deprivation a Big Drain on the BrainLife Expectancy Shrinks for America's Working-Age AdultsHitting the Highway This Holiday Season? Buckle Up in Front and BackAHA News: Regular Fasting Could Lead to Longer, Healthier LifeHealth Tip: Avoiding Cabin Fever This WinterKeep Stress Under Control as Holiday Season StartsThree Tips for Getting Your Zzzzzz'sHealth Tip: Creating a Healthy RoutineDon't Let Salmonella Make Your Thanksgiving a TurkeyMusic Integral to All Cultures, in Similar Ways: StudyAHA News: Eating Mindfully Through the Holidays – and All YearProtect Yourself From Frigid-Weather EmergenciesNot Getting Enough Shut-Eye? You Have Plenty of Company'Meatless Monday' Can Help Change Diets for GoodPlants Will Not Boost Your Home's Air Quality: StudyHealth Tip: Ridesharing SafetyHealth Tip: Autumn Driving SafetyTV Binges, Video Games, Books and Sports Taking Toll on SleepSurvey Shows Americans Feel StressedDon't Get Along With Family? Check Your HealthHow to Head Off Holiday Weight GainClimate Change a 'Threat to Human Well-Being,' Scientists SayHealth Tip: Bundle Up on Cold, Windy DaysGet Healthier With a Mental ResetAre You Lonely? Your Tweets Offer Important Clues, Experts SayDaylight Saving Time Bad for Health, Experts ClaimMore Reasons Why You Must Manage Your StressWith Time Change, Use That Extra Hour for SleepAHA News: Your Neighborhood's Walkability May Be A Trick-Or-Treat For Your Heart All YearToo Little Time to Exercise? Survey Suggests OtherwiseAlmost Half of Americans Have Been Sleepy Behind the WheelHealth Tip: The 'Wall Test' For Good PostureCould Screens' Blue Light Make You Old Before Your Time?Health Tip: Prioritizing Your WellnessThe Wellness Boost of a Purposeful LifeHealth Tip: Planning a Stress-Reducing VacationWhy Maintaining a Healthy Weight Is Important in AdulthoodAHA News: The Road to Better Exercise Might Be in Your Playlist
VideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Smoking
Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management

Is Your Mattress Releasing Toxins While You Sleep?

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jul 10th 2019

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, July 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Most people consider their bed a safe haven, but new research suggests your body heat might trigger the release of potentially harmful chemicals from your mattress.

Mattresses are known to release minute amounts of gaseous chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These VOCs come mainly from the polyurethane used in the mattress, but also from other chemicals used in flame retardants and plastics, the researchers said.

Unfortunately, your body heat appears to increase VOC emissions from your mattress, according to tests conducted on eight different types of polyurethane mattresses.

But don't toss out your mattress just yet: The estimated doses of most VOCs remained well below the levels that could cause health effects, researchers noted.

However, some compounds did reach levels of concern for infants and young children, if their ages were considered in exposure calculations, the researchers added.

"There is no reason to panic, and yet it is important to understand that air quality in our sleeping micro-environment is important with regard to our exposure to various pollutants such as VOCs," said senior researcher Yael Dubowski, an associate professor with the Israel Institute of Technology. "Hence, we should make an effort to improve it."

Health effects associated with VOCs range from eye, nose and throat irritation to headaches and organ damage, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Some VOCs, including benzene, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, have been associated with increased cancer risk.

For the study, Dubowski and her colleagues subjected eight different mattresses to simulated sleeping conditions, mimicking the elevated body heat, humidity and carbon dioxide caused by humans when they sleep for even a few hours.

The mattresses had been allowed to air out for at least six months prior to the study, noted Sarah Evans, an assistant professor of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

"Often we think, well, if you let something air out for a little while, you can dramatically reduce the level of chemicals that are off-gassed," said Evans, who wasn't involved with the study. "In this case, even after six months they still saw appreciable levels of off-gassing."

Body heat appeared to increase each mattress' release of VOCs, compared with the levels released when the mattresses were not in use, researchers found.

Estimated exposures remained below the "No Significant Risk Levels" (NSRL) set under strict California environmental laws, researchers noted.

However, if the exposure levels took into account a child's age, the picture took on more concern. For example, compounds linked to cancer such as acetaldehyde, formaldehyde and benzene approached or exceeded age-adjusted levels, researchers said.

The new study was published July 10 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Experts are generally more concerned about children's exposure to VOCs, said Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, chief of occupational and environmental medicine at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y.

Babies in particular spend a lot of time in their crib, lying on foam mattresses that produce these gases, said Spaeth, who had no part in the study.

"By virtue of their age and size, they have heightened vulnerability to potential toxic effects," he said.

Even if these chemicals don't do immediate harm, there is concern that exposure will increase their lifelong risk of cancer, Evans and Spaeth said.

The best way to protect against VOCs is to maintain good ventilation inside your home, by opening windows and using fans, they said.

"Indoor air can have as much as 10 times higher VOCs than outdoor air," Evans said. "Getting fresh air in can really help reduce those exposures."

Consumers also can choose mattresses made of materials other than polyurethane foam, Evans said. Mattresses containing cotton, wool and natural latex will all produce lower levels of gases.

Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for consumers to suss out what's in a mattress and what sort of VOCs those materials might produce, Spaeth said.

"Consumers are in a very difficult position," Spaeth said. "It's very hard to get good information about what a mattress contains, and even if you know that, unless you have a good understanding of the different materials it's hard to know what chemicals might be emitted from those materials.

"The chemicals that are being emitted are not going to be listed in a label that indicates what the mattress is made of," Spaeth said. "These are byproducts of the materials."

More information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more about volatile organic compounds.