Did you know that hidden toxic chemicals can be found in pillows? These seemingly innocent pillows are not so innocent. The reality is that most of us are breathing in through our pillows all night long which can be riddled with toxic chemicals. Whether your pillow is made with synthetic down alternatives, polyester, memory foam, or conventional cotton, chances are it’s off-gassing harmful toxic chemicals.
These are toxic chemicals hiding in conventional pillows:
One of the most dangerous toxins in pillows is polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), one of the most commonly used flame retardant chemicals.
Flame retardants are known to cause adverse health consequences, linking them to cancer, hormonal changes, and fertility problems. They are very difficult to break down and can accumulate in the body over time.
Formaldehyde is classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Pesticides are used to kill pests when growing crops for conventional material such as cotton.
This pesticide residue can be harmful to humans.
Most polyester is made from petroleum. It contains antimony, a highly toxic substance that can have serious effects on the heart, lungs, liver, and skin.
Exposure to these chemicals has been associated with:
- lung damage
- respiratory problems
- damage to the skin and eye
- liver damage
- affect thyroid function
These are the most toxic pillows to avoid:
Memory Foam Pillows
Memory foam pillows typically contain more chemicals than other types of pillows. Memory foam pillows release a chemical smell known as “off-gassing.” This happens when the chemicals present in the pillow break down and disperse in the air.
As reported by this study, down and feather pillows often contain dangerously high levels of glue that is used to bind the filling.
Synthetic Latex Pillows
Latex pillows might be less toxic than memory foam alternatives, however, synthetic latex may emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs) because it contains PU foam and other synthetic materials.
Choose Non-Toxic Materials
Look for a legitimate organic cotton certification, such as USDA Organic or Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
For me, a non toxic pillow would be one made with natural ingredients that don’t off gas chemicals.