Toxic Pillows! Detox Diva
Pillows. There is nothing closer to our noses for seven or more hours a day except maybe glasses, for those that wear them. Now we learn from new research that pillows and car seats give humans the highest amount of PBDE flame retardants of any product.
Before this, when I’d focused on pillow toxics, I’d focused on outgassing foam and polyester. If I had really thought about it I would have suspected that pillows might have flame retardants, but maybe the thought was too gruesome to entertain. There is something so innocent about people, especially children, snuggled up with their pillows every night that it is heart breaking to realize that they/we are breathing in chemicals that are long-lasting in the environment (and our bodies), and are being linked to developmental, reproductive disorders and more.
Wisconsin researchers have tracked the most significant sources of human exposure to one type of flame retardant chemicals – polybrominated dipheylethers (PBDEs) – by using a new kind of portable x-ray analyzer that can detect bromine levels in household items.
The PBDE content was substantially higher in pillows made of polyurethane foam (3,646 parts per million) compared with those made of polyester fibers (107 parts per million) or feathers (6 parts per million).
Car seats made of cloth upholstery had bromine levels that were almost 25 times higher than those made of leather.
The highest sources of PBDE are, according to the study reported in Environmental Health Perspectives, computers and televisions, with averages of about 30,000 and 95,000 parts per million, respectively, but they are not the highest source of exposure for people.