Toxins in your bedding: a hidden health issue

Featured Article: 
Make a Featured Article

Many of us now live in a state of what Dr Hazel Parcells (a pioneer in natural health) termed ‘Half Healthy’. She observed that while most people weren’t terribly ill, they weren’t terribly healthy either. As a society we have come to accept some ongoing health problems as a normal consequence of our busy lives – things like fatigue, headaches, eczema and general feelings of not being at our best. Many people get tested by their doctor only to find that everthing is ‘within normal range’.

While diet and exercise is important, what many people don’t realise is that the fibres of your clothes and bedding could be contributing to your state of ‘half-healthiness’. Here’s why:


Your skin is the largest organ of elimination and absorption^

  • When toxins are absorbed through your skin, they are taken-up by the lymphatic system, into the blood stream and eventually the liver.

  • Your skin expells approximately one pound of toxins daily

  • High temperatures and humidity can increase chemical absorption – think about how our bodies perspire and warm the bed during the night

  • Man-made fibres often restrict and suffocate the skin, affecting the natural toxic release and increasing the toxic burden on our bodies

Commercially made fabrics are loaded with chemicals and pesticides

  • According to the Environmental Justice Foundation, commercially-grown cotton uses just over 2% of the world’s arable land, but consumes 16% of world’s insecticides**

  • Residual pesticides and insecticides remain in the cotton

  • Even natural fabrics like cotton are treated with formaldehyde to give them easy care properties like anti-static, shrink resistant, wrinkle resistant, colour fastness.

  • Commercially made fabrics also contain other formaldehyde-releasing chemicals

  • Formaldehyde has been linked to health issues such as cancer, headaches, breathing difficulties, asthma, eczema, insomnia, general fatigue and much more

  • Softeners, bleaches, chemical dyes, ammonia and fire-retardants are also used in the processing of fabrics, including commercial cotton

Mattresses are loaded with fire-retardants and other chemicals. Here is a few that may be lurking in your mattress:

  • Many conventional mattresses are filled with synthetic materials such as polyurethane foam. Polyurethane foam constantly breaks down and releases chemicals (called off-gassing). Polyurethane foam is made from chemicals that are known carcinogens.

  • Synthetic mattresses are treated to make them fire retardant using PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) or boric acid. Both of which have associated health problems.

  • Benzene is one of 61 chemicals found in memory foam, a component of many mattresses today, and is also a known carcinogen.

  • PVC is a material used to cover most baby mattresses and is considered to be one of the most toxic plastics in use today

  • Health hazards associated with toxic mattresses include headache, nausea, fatigue, and sore throat, as well as conditions such as allergyc reactions, respiratory destress, reproductive dysfunction, and cancer

We recommend toxic-free bedding


^ Healer: The Pioneer Nutritionist and Prophet Dr. Hazel Parcells in Her Own Words at Age 106
^^ Total Health Magazine
* Debra Lynn Dadd Toxic Free, 2011
** Environmental Justice Foundation