LAST UPDATED – Jan 2017.
Polyurethane foams found in mattresses can be pretty unhealthy.
The chemicals used to make these products are known to emit harsh volatile organic compounds (VOCS) we know as chemical fumes.
It should be no surprise that some unhappy customers that purchased and used polyurethane foam products have been experiencing nasty side effects from their new mattress and expressing themselves online.
People are sharing their experience to inform the public.
In the end, it’s not good for the chemical companies associated with polyurethane foams. Foam manufacturers are now trying to influence public perception by becoming certified by the CertiPUR-US standard.
Their goal is to convince the public that CertiPUR-US products are healthy.
Let’s take a look at what CertiPUR-US is…
CertiPUR-US was conceived by the Polyurethane Foam Association (PFA) – its members are chemical companies and foam fabricators.
The Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam (AFPF) is a not-for-profit company responsible for registering and maintaining the activities of CertiPUR-US.
Much of the funding for CertiPUR-US is provided by the very same chemical companies that want to convince the public that their chemicals are safe enough to be considered healthy.
Just to name a few of their sponsors and monetary supporters:
– Dow Chemical – Polyurethane Chemicals Manufacturer and platinum sponsor
– ICL Industrial Products – Chemical Fire Retardant Manufacturer “monetary support”
Even one of the elected CertiPUR-US board of directors comes straight from the chemical and foam companies.
CertiPUR-US claim all products that are certified have undergone a vigorously regulated process performed by independent labs, therefore the certified product must be considered healthy. But, how true is this?
We stacked up the CertiPUR-US standard next to the GreenGuard Gold standard. GreenGuard Gold certification ensures that a product has met some of the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of VOCs into indoor air.
Here is what we found:
|GreenGuard GOLD [µg/m3]
It is clear that the key VOCs that concern the public are not minimized. One of the main VOCs being discussed today is formaldehyde.
In fact, as per their testing, CertiPUR-US will allow more than 10x the amount of formaldehyde compared to other standards.
Sure, CertiPUR-US standard may be trying to do what they can to minimize the number of harsh VOCs that emit from polyurethane foam and perhaps a step in the right direction. But I believe that this standard is simply not trying hard enough.