Organic baby bedding and other organic baby products can save your baby from many dangerous conditions and illnesses, including asthma, allergies, organ damage, nervous system damage, different kinds of cancers, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Why is it that some babies are born healthy and then, for no apparent reason, get sick with serious or fatal diseases a few weeks or months later? This wasn’t happening a hundred years ago as it happens today.
Our modern world surrounds us with many synthetic, unnatural, man-made materials. Many of these synthetic materials are made with chemicals, some of which are known to be toxic, and many of which may affect us in ways that we do not understand. Exposure to these toxic chemical agents may affect adults over long periods of exposure, but since babies are much smaller, they can be affected by much smaller doses.
Toxic Chemical Cocktails In The Nursery
Until the 1960’s, both adult and crib mattresses were almost always made of natural materials like cotton and wool. That is not the case today. Mattresses today use many petroleum-based chemicals, including formaldehyde and polyurethane. Testing showed that a memory foam mattress contains 61 unnatural chemicals, including carcinogens like benzene and naphthalene.
USA government safety standards require that a mattress must be able to resist at least 30 minutes of exposure to fire before igniting, and to meet this requirement many mattresses are treated with arsenic and antimony as fire retardants and preservatives. Until 2004, pentabde was used in mattresses as a fire retardant, but has since been phased out. Though these regulations may have been made with the best of intentions, the chemicals used are hurting more than they are helping.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) And Off-Gassing
There are many unhealthy conditions caused in infants by the cocktail of toxic chemicals in synthetic baby bedding and products, but let’s talk now about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) with it’s causes and prevention. It is called a “syndrome” because it is a very mysterious condition. Doctors can’t say for sure what causes SIDS. It is also a fairly recent condition. It wasn’t happening like this sixty years ago. Something has happened in the last sixty years to cause this serge.
Many doctors and pediatricians attribute SIDS in some way to suffocation. Based on this theory, many experts and pediatricians strongly recommend that a baby should always be laid on his back, and that nothing should be placed in the crib with the baby — no blankets, no pillows, no bumpers, and no toys. However, based on the work and research of Barry Richardson and Peter Mitchell in 1988, the opinion of this website is that SIDS is instead a result of off-gassing of dangerous chemicals which turn the baby’s nursery crib into a gas chamber.
Some of the most dangerous chemicals that our babies sleep with are arsenic and antimony, which are used as fire retardants, and phosphorus. As time goes on, the baby sweats and wets and spits up, and even small amounts of the baby’s body fluids start a dangerous cycle in the mattress and bedding.
Once the crib mattress has received body fluids from the baby, a common fungus known as S. Brevicaulis sets in and starts to breed. The fungus produces waste material which reacts chemically with the phosphorus, antimony and arsenic, and when it does, antimony produces a toxic gas called stibine, phosphorus produces phosphine, and arsenic produces arsine.
All three of these gasses, stibine, phosphine and arsine, are different kinds of nerve gas! Nerve gas causes the nerves to turn off, including those that operate the heart and lungs. These are produced in quantities so small that they probably wouldn’t have a noticeable effect on an adult, but it could be plenty to kill a baby. In his research, Barry Richardson analyzed 200 mattresses on which SIDS babies had died. Without exception, Richardson found that every crib mattress was infected with the S. Brevicaulis fungus, and every mattress produced one or more of the three deadly nerve gasses when brought to body temperature. These chemicals had turned the baby nursery cribs into gas chambers.
The work of Barry Richardson explains many things. First, it helps us to understand why SIDS deaths are less common among babies put to sleep on their backs. Before the 1950’s it was thought to be safer to put a baby to bed on his stomach. Today many believe that it is easier for a baby to breath if he sleeps on his back, but apparently that’s not the real reason why they survive better. One of the gasses, stibine (produced from antimony), is heavier than air, so it stays close to the surface of the mattress. When the baby sleeps face down, he breathes a higher concentration of stibine. A baby who sleeps on his back will breathe less of this gas. However, sleeping on his back does not protect a baby from phosphine and arsine. To make things worse, a non-breathable baby bumper could cause all three of the deadly gasses to accumulate and concentrate around the baby.
The research would also explain why most SIDS deaths come between the ages of 1 month and 1 year. It takes about a month for the fungus to start growing and producing the deadly gasses. By the time the child is a year old, he is large enough so that he is more likely to survive the traces of toxic gases. But just because the baby has survived doesn’t mean that the chemicals have not affected his health at all. Of course, if another child has used the same mattress before the new baby, the chemical reactions will already have been started.
The nerve gas theory also explains why SIDS babies usually show no symptoms before they go to bed for the last time. The babies didn’t die of any sickness. They were gassed to death, just like the Jews who died in Nazi concentration camps. A Jew might have had a cold or something like a flue when he went in, but it wasn’t the cold or flue that killed him. It was the gas.
Other Health Risks
SIDS is not the only danger for your newborn. Many other dangers exist in your newborn’s crib and nursery from Volatile Organic Compounds, also called VOCs. Some VOCs are natural and harmless, but many are man-made, petroleum-based substances like cloroflorocarbons (used in blowing), polybrominate (a fire retardant) and formaldehyde. One of the most common and most dangerous is the polyurethane foam, which can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems. Naphthalene, benzene and formaldehyde are all carcinogens.
The list is endless. Besides causing different kinds of cancer, chemical agents in your mattress or in your baby’s mattress are known to cause damage to vital organs and to the central nervous system. Do the makers of these mattresses know about the dangers they are introducing into your newborn’s nursery? Maybe they don’t. Maybe they do. There are some companies which refuse to disclose how their mattresses and nursery bedding are produced.
Organic Kids Bedding
There is only one effective way to protect your child. Get your newborn an organic crib mattress, and use only organic baby bedding in it. Be careful about baby products labelled as “green” because that term is vague and unregulated. Sometimes the word “green” just means that something is made of recycled materials. Make sure that the product is labelled and certified as “organic,” and read the details about the materials used and how it was made.
As parents are becoming more conscious of the dangers of synthetic chemicals in their nurseries, certain companies are taking care to make products with the best of natural materials. These products will probably be more expensive, but they can make the difference between the baby living just a few weeks or living to be an adult.
The best organic crib mattresses and bedding will probably be made with wool or cotton. Organic cotton will be, in its purest form, grown without fertilizer, pesticides, or GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
Often organic mattresses will be covered with polyethylene, which is considered to be the safest, non-toxic plastic produced. A covering of polyethylene or organic rubber will keep the mattress from off-gassing in your baby’s face. Holes in the sides or beneath can allow gasses to escape downward and away from the child. Of course, if the mattress is made of all pure, organic materials, off-gassing shouldn’t be a problem. Visit the Baby Crib And Mattress page for more information about organic mattresses and the dangerous effects of toxic chemicles on your baby’s health.