What Are VOC's (Volatile organic compounds)?
VOC's are a group of organic chemicals, that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. Each chemical has its own toxicity and potential for causing different health effects. Most of the VOC's found in latex mattresses come from synthetic rubber aka "styrene butadiene rubber" (SBR) which is used in blended latex.
How are VOC's harmful?
Breathing low levels of VOC's for long periods, may increase some people’s risk of health problems. Studies suggest that exposure to VOC"s may make symptoms worse in people who have hypersensitivities, asthma, young children and seniors.Short term VOC exposure
Increased risk of:
How do I limit my exposure to VOC's in bed?
The only way to limit your exposure, is to verify the manufacturer certifications that test VOC level from only third-party certification by an authoritative laboratory using accepted standards. These include GOLS, Eco-institut, Oeko-Tex, Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR, which are the most trusted sources in the mattress industry. Make sure the certificates are up to date (usually valid for 1 year), and that all the parameters, test below the recommended threshold for safe VOC exposure.
Be vigilant of latex that's advertised as 100% Natural Talalay Latex, most of the time it's a blend of natural rubber and synthetic latex aka ”styrene butadiene rubber" (SBR) which are two petroleum based chemicals, and each listed as a VOC. The only two manufacturers (that we are aware of) of 100% Natural Talalay Latex are Vita Talalay in the Netherlands with a C2C and eco-INSTITUT certification, and the other is Talalay Global in the USA, with a Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification. If your are buying 100% Natural Talalay, insist on reviewing the certificates provided by the manufacturers.
Misleading advertising has invaded the mattress industry
It's a challenge for consumers to compare all the mattress choices from companies that claim to have the “purest”, the "natural", the "hypoallergenic" the "non-toxic" product at the “best” price!
Not all organic aka "natural" mattresses are created equal (even if they use similar materials) Recently the FTC has found 3 mattress manufacturers guilty of making false claims about their mattresses and VOC levels. Avoid blended latex because it's almost always synthesized with styrene and butadiene, which are two petroleum based chemicals, that are listed VOC's and linked to health issues.
Our Certified Organic Natural rubber tree latex mattresses do not off-gas, but rubber does still have an odour. The smell is not offensive for the vast majority of our customers and you'll probably never notice it, unless you inspect the latex without its cover.
With this in mind, it's even more important than ever to do your research, if you want to buy the right mattress for you and your family.
Here is the secret to buying the healthiest mattress!
Check the 3rd party certificates from the mattress manufacturer! If they are up to date, and come from a reputable laboratory, chances are you will be getting what you pay for!
Reputable manufacturers should have a certificate for each of these latex mattress components and will post these certificateson their website for you to see: (3rd party laboratories)
Be mindful of manufacturers that do not post their certificates on line or that simply list their ingredients claiming there is no need for a certification. Remember there is no agency overseeing the mattress industry, so you have to trust your research, and the 3rd party labs that test for advertising integrity.