Minimize chemical exposure

The uncovering of toxic chemicals in consumer products has become an increasingly worrisome trend. While the field of chemical engineering has introduced a host of miraculous consumer products, most of these chemicals have never been tested for health and safety, while others suspected of being problematic are still in widespread use. From flame retardants to VOCs, there's plenty to be concerned about. Fortunately, you can protect yourself and your family through education and by selecting products that don't contain these chemicals in the first place. Naturepedic follows third-party certification standards like GOTS, GOLS, MADE SAFE, GREENGUARD and Oeko-Tex 100 Class 1 when determining  what materials/quantities are appropriate for use and are considered "non-harmful."

“Between 2010 and 2020, we expect the number of new cancer cases in the United States to go up about 24% in men to more than 1 million cases per year, and by about 21% in women to more than 900,000 cases per year.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Expected New Cancer Cases and Deaths in 2020

“… while the Consumer Product Safety Commission effectively handles issues concerning immediate injury - like lawn darts - it has an ad hoc process to deal with the longer-term health threats like those posed by chemicals.”

National Environmental Trust, Toxic Chemicals Widespread in Consumer Products, Tony Iallonardo

Made Safe Logo Certification - made with safe ingredientsMade Safe Logo Certification - made with safe ingredients

protecting human health and the ecosystem

MADE SAFE certifies products made with ingredients not known or suspected to cause human health harm. The materials used by Naturepedic have been scrutinized by scientists and experts to help eliminate harmful ingredients, vapor releases, gases, or by-products that could impact human health.

See Certification     View Bedding Report

tested for chemical emissions

UL/GREENGUARD is a third-party certification program that tests for chemical emissions from consumer products and materials. All Naturepedic products are certified to the UL/GREENGUARD Gold Certification as well as the UL formaldehyde-free standard.

See Certification

Greenguard Gold and Formaldehyde Free Certification LogosGreenguard Gold and Formaldehyde Free Certification Logos

advocates for chemical safety

When it comes to chemical safety, we're proud of the relationships we've built

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WebMD - Is your mattress releasing toxins while you sleep?

“Mattresses are known to release minute amounts of gaseous chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs)... 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.”   read more

Stack of three conventional twin mattressesStack of three conventional twin mattresses


There are some pretty nasty chemicals out there. The more educated you are, the more you can protect yourself and your family. Here are two specific areas of chemical concern worth highlighting regarding mattresses.

Worker in factory operating fabric processing equipmentWorker in factory operating fabric processing equipment

chemically treated fabrics

The outer fabric of most mattresses is typically made from some form of polyester, nylon or cotton. Even if the fabric is made from organic cotton, it's likely treated for water-resistance using perfluorinated compounds (PFAS), polyurethane coatings, plus various anti-bacterial biocidal treatments and even flame retardants. All of these chemicals have toxicity concerns.

In contrast, Naturepedic uses a GOTS certified organic cotton fabric without any of these additives. Keeping things simple means keeping things healthy.

PFOA, PFOS (a.k.a. PFAS)

A chemical treatment applied to knit or woven fabrics to make them stain- and water-resistant. These chemicals can be found on mattresses that have a fabric finish (even if the fabric is organic cotton!).

According to the U.S. E.P.A., "There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans... Studies indicate that PFOA and PFOS can cause reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects in laboratory animals. Both chemicals have caused tumors in animals."  Read more at

biocides & flame retardants

Biocides are often added to fabrics as a way to make them "anti-microbial." While this may sound good, these chemicals are actually poison (designed to kill living organisms). At least 30% of biocides are endocrine disruptive, persistent, toxic to water organisms and/or carcinogenic. /

Flame retardant chemicals are also sometimes added to help pass flammability requirements. A common flame retardant chemical used to treat fabrics is antimony (i.e. antimony trioxide/pentoxide, sodium antimonate, and various halogen combinations). Antimony also typically contains arsenic, a known poison and carcinogen.

polyurethane foam

Nearly all mattresses today are made with polyurethane foam (a.k.a. "memory foam", "soybean foam", "plant-based foam", etc.) as internal filling,  often in combination with springs. Polyurethane foam is a predominantly petroleum product made with ingredients associated with numerous health hazards. It also deteriorates over time, breaking up into small dust-like particles that can easily become airborne (releasing VOC’s associated with upper respiratory conditions and skin irritation). Some of the health hazards listed on manufacturer material safety data sheets (MSDS) include: possible cardiac arrhythmias, breathlessness, chest discomfort, irritation of mucous membranes, headache, coughing, asthma-like allergic reaction, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, nausea, blurred vision, and reduced pulmonary function.

Block of green colored polyurethane foamBlock of green colored polyurethane foam

how it's made

Polyurethane foam is typically produced by combining a polyol (petroleum based) with an isocyanate (usually toluene diisocyanate or TDI), which is a highly toxic substance.

“Occupational exposure to TDI and other diisocyanates can cause... bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, rhinitis, conjunctivitis... irritation of the eyes, upper and lower respiratory tract and skin.”

The EPA has identified several chemicals used in the fabrication of polyurethane foam as hazardous air pollutants (hydrochloric acid, 2,4-toluene diisocyanate, and hydrogen cyanide).

“Exposure to these substances has been demonstrated to cause adverse health effects such as irritation of the lung, eye, and mucous membranes, effects on the central nervous system, and cancer.”

In addition, polyurethane foam typically contains chemical catalysts, surfactants, emulsifiers, pigments, and other chemical additives. These frequently include halogen compounds, chlorofluoro-alkanes, dichlorodifluoromethanes, formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and other well established toxic chemicals including organotin compounds.


Polyurethane foam is a petroleum product, and as such, is extremely flammable. Untreated polyurethane burns hot and fast, posing serious fire concerns (which is why it's generally treated). It also decomposes into deadly and hazardous gases when ignited. In particular, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride, and other toxic gases are released.

Due to its high flammability, industrial strength toxic chemical fire retardants are often added to meet the minimum flammability standards set by government agencies. These additives can have a wide range of adverse health effects, especially as the foam breaks down over time and becomes airborne. Flame barriers are also commonly employed in an effort to shield the foam. These flame barriers are typically modacrylic, polyacrylonitrile or rayon. 

Through the intelligent use of natural materials, Naturepedic mattresses pass all flammability requirements without ANY flame retardant chemicals or flame barriers of any kind!

Close-up of woman sleeping in bed snuggling blanketClose-up of woman sleeping in bed snuggling blanket

Steve Amos, Executive Director, HealthCode 

“Sleep has been referred to as the “swiss army knife for health”. Naturepedic goes the extra mile to eliminate toxic and questionable chemicals from mattresses and bedding. Naturepedic’s certified organic products provide healthy and luxurious sleep. Thanks from HealthCode - empowering people to live healthier lives.”

While some newer specialty crib mattresses don't use polyurethane foam, they generally still contain flame retardant chemicals or added flame barriers. When in doubt, it's always best to ask. No matter how "safe" they tell you the flame retardants are, it's always chemically safer to not need them in the first place!

how are all these chemicals allowed?

Are mattresses labeled "eco" or "green" just as good?

Many specific consumer products are fairly well regulated with respect to their ingredients. These include food, drugs, and other specific items such as lead in paint. There are also various types of regulations for many other consumer products such as pesticides, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, medical devices, and motor vehicles. However, the use of chemicals in most other consumer products is largely unregulated. These include many of the chemicals typically found in mattresses.

The only law that actually applies to chemicals in consumer products is the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA, 1976). When TSCA was enacted by Congress, all chemicals then in use (approximately 63,000) were largely exempted from further health and safety testing and thus “grandfathered.” There are so many exclusions and exemptions in TSCA that most new chemicals created since are essentially unregulated. The EPA is also severely limited in regulating the use of toxic chemicals under TSCA. In fact, only 6 chemicals of the approximate 63,000 that were “grandfathered” in 1976 under TSCA have had their uses restricted.

Toxic Chemicals Widespread in Consumer Products

"Most people assume the government polices commercial chemicals in the same way the FDA polices drugs, but it’s not true... there’s no sheriff in town."

(Toxic Chemicals Widespread in Consumer Products, Andy Igrejas, Director of the Environmental Health Campaign, Tony Iallonardo, National Environmental Trust)

"Bamboo" fabric

“... the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) exempts virtually all of the chemicals examined in the report from government oversight and does not provide the Environmental Protection Agency enough power to assess the safety of chemicals in consumer products.”

(Toxic Chemicals Widespread in Consumer Products, Andy Igrejas, Director of the Environmental Health Campaign, Tony Iallonardo, National Environmental Trust)

Not only is it legal to use virtually any chemical in the manufacturing of most consumer products, many chemicals used in mattresses have either been “grandfathered” or, in any event, are largely unregulated.

protecting our children

Many doctors and scientists have become concerned with the toxicity issues of various products, including children's mattresses, particularly regarding the possible effects of these chemicals on our children given their increased vulnerability. The National Academy of Sciences describes four factors that may contribute to children's unique vulnerability to the harmful effects of chemicals.


1) Children’s exposures are greater pound-for-pound than those of adults

2) Children are less able than adults to detoxify and excrete chemicals

3) Children’s developing organ systems are more vulnerable to damage from chemical exposure

4) Children have more years of future life in which to develop disease triggered by early exposure


It is becoming increasingly clear that toxic chemicals are affecting our children. A primary source of toxic chemicals in the environment of a child while developing is the mattress and sleeping environment. Removing potentially harmful chemicals from these prominent objects represents a prudent and wise approach for concerned parents.

Father laying in bed holding up daughter in flying positionFather laying in bed holding up daughter in flying position

Pete Myers, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Scientist Environmental Health Sciences, co-author of “Our Stolen Future"

“In 1991, at a scientific workshop with Theo Colborn, I coined the phrase ‘endocrine disrupting chemicals.’ There was a lot we didn’t know back then, but we knew enough to be concerned. Since then thousands of scientific papers have been published on the issue, confirming the very real health concerns that these chemicals raise. That’s why it’s so gratifying to me to see that Naturepedic takes these issues seriously, and has designed and brought to market a truly safe mattress, without flame retardants, phthalates, vinyl and other toxic materials and chemicals."