People For Clean

People fighting to keep our mattresses and bedding clean from toxic flame retardant chemicals
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Flameproof Bed Story
Table of Chemicals Used
Table of Poisons Absorbed
Proponents Say & Rebuttals
Poison Crib Mattresses
EPA Proves Mattresses Toxic

People Sick
Quick Facts

Antimony Risks
Antimony Linked to SIDS
Children Vulnerable
Boric Acid Risks
Boric Acid Poisons 6,463
Wool Burns
Child Sucking Test
MSDS's on Chemicals
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Incredible But True
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People Sick from Flameproof Mattresses

Eric North, Washington DC  20011
My partner and I have been stumped trying to figure out why we are having chronic skin rashes since sleeping on our mattress purchased in August 07. Most outbreaks occurring on the side on which we normally sleep

Diane Sandstrum, Broomfield CO 80023
I am currently battling many symptoms after sleeping on a 'flameproof' bed. I have experienced hives, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness, anxiety, panic, vision problems, and other symptoms.

Jan Young, Muskego WI 53150
We have gone thru 3 mattresses in the last 2 months. They all made us sick with flame retardants. We can't find a mattress without these chemicals. Help!

Patrick Mallo
I had difficulty breathing at night after 1 week in the bed. I forced the return of the bed and got 85% of my money back.

Carey Ann Holcomb, Ojai CA 93023
I have become sick from 2 mattresses that had heavy odor from flame retardant. My youngest son who often comes to sleep in my bed also has become sick from the mattresses.

Mary Ludwig
My son was poisoned using an expensive brand name crib mattress. ... Alex used to bounce in his crib and cry for hours. ...Alex's antimony levels were so high it almost killed him on his heavy metals tests.

Dorothy Doelger, Stillwater OK 74075
My daughter became very ill from her new mattress (vomiting, shaking, headache, sweating) and it took three months to get the toxins out of her system.

Joyce Skwor, Greenville MS  38701
I got a rash on my skin and now my eyes are red . And the only thing new in my life was the new mattress set by Serta .


Requested Confidential (Mattress factory employees)
I work at a large bedding manufacturing plant that distributes mattresses to the east cost with approx. 300 stores. The employees at the plant are complaining of sore throats, skin irritations and in some cases running noses and nose bleeds.

Requested Confidential (Different mattress company and state than above)
I work at a Simmons mattress factory. The employees here are having difficulty's health wise. Mostly respiratory. About 20 people called OSHA and complained which only angered our CEO and upper management. They held a meeting a few days ago saying "A handful of people are having problems" which they continued to repeat through out the meeting. Well 20 people may be a handful if we are talking about a huge population of people but only about 90 people work in our plant per shift and only a handful (about 20) people handle the FR material. Anyways they told us "If anyone complains about any reaction to the FR material they will be required to use the extra safety equipment ( Air tight goggles, respirators, full body smocks etc.) for the eternity of their employment".

Requested Confidential (Mattress factory employee)
I watch the effects of this to our workforce daily. I work at Simmons Mattress in Janesville WI. We are concerned that the chemicals are harmful. All we hear is FR is government mandated. What is wrong with our government?

Rick Cassidy, (Mattress Manufacturer Employee) Baton Rouge LA 70802
This topic of toxic FR Materials is being held a secret by importers from China. My former employer knowingly withheld this information from the largest retail customer in the California market. Antimony Trioxide is commonly used as a fire retardant chemical additive and is a known carcinogen as I understand from a US testing facility. I was told to keep this quiet by my employer or I would lose my position as product designer and marketing executive. That's what happened. I agree that the unaware consumer is at severe long term risk with this US government mandated FR compliance.

Lisa Werenskjold, Glasgow KY 42141
I recently purchased a Stearns and Foster mattress. My eyes began to burn after sleeping on this mattress and I couldn't even be in the room with it.

Cheryl Anderson
My first night I couldn't sleep and got a fever and headache, one night I was sick to my stomach. We flew out the next day for a week in Portland slept fine. Came back to our new mattress and for four days straight I couldn't sleep and same thing happened, fever, face flushed sick to stomach and migraine. ... So I am writing to you in case you are thinking about buying a new mattress, beware of the toxins.

Mike Kelly, 78759
Researching the cause of my rashes, which I think are from my bed.

Jennifer Benton, San Francisco CA 94109
I slept on a flame retardant mattress for about 3 months, and developed a horrible skin rash on my face and swollen lips. ... Before the purchase of the flame retardant bed, I had none of these issues. My skin was perfect. If I had known that the bed had been treated with toxic chemicals I never would have purchased it. These resulting health issues have now cost me more than $5000 and quite a bit of pain and suffering.

Frank Moshman, Maybrook NJ  12543
I recently bought a new mattress. The smell is awful and I already developed a huge skin rash which I read could be an effect of the boric acid.

Richard Pitts, Brighton CO 80601
My wife and I are now chemical sensitive from our bed.

I started developing a rash that first appeared on my lower back but has since appeared on my arms, the sides of my torso and hips and upper back primarily. It seems to be happening on pressure points where my body meets the bed.

Robert Archer, Sedona AZ 86340
I am sick from a new mattresses I recently purchased.

Lynn Trudel, Finchburg MA  01420
Am on my second mattress - first Simmons then Sealy. Both have odors and am allergic to both with no chance for a refund.

Howard Nussdor, Huntington NY  11743
I am suffering ill affects by a recently purchased mattress.


Dr Lawrence A. Plumlee,  MD
Chemical Sensitivity Disorders Association
Dallas, TX 75220-3757

The benefits do not outweigh the risks. I know many chemically sensitive people who do not tolerate treated mattresses. And how many are intolerant who don't know why they can't sleep or feel bad?


Phil Fleming, Seattle WA  98166
The new Serta I bought at Costco this spring is giving me huge headaches and joint pain. I went back to a 8 yr old bed and immediately felt better.

Kirsten Surratt, BS, Peoria IL  61615, Friend had similar problem
"Bought a chemical treated mattress, broke out in a rash/itchy skin, have sore throat and increased frequency of my migraines and sinus problems."

Robert L Chavoya, BA, Lockhart TX  78644
My wife and I purchased a Serta mattress (Pillow top)a month ago. The first was soiled and was exchanged. The second and our current third mattress has a caustic odor that permeates the house and causes our eyes to water and throats to itch. The Serta folks advised us to air it out. I've sealed off the bedroom and had a heavy duty fan blowing directly on the mattress (the second mattress for 7 days) the third mattress for 3 days. The odor is not going away. Our master bedroom is completely sealed off from the rest of house with windows open.

"We are both in our senior years; we've had a few mattresses in our life times. But this is the first that is fire retardant and the first that has caused us extreme physical discomfort with allergic/cold type symptoms. I'm currently in contact with Serta management, but I believe that this treated mattress will not be part of our household much longer. They insist that the mattress itself is not treated with any chemicals, but that the different materials that are used to patch the mattress together have fire-retardant features. "

[Serta has previously admitted they use Boric Acid to the Washington Post and others. Kevlar is used in the yellow thread you see on the perimeter of the mattress to hold it together, but this is not the flameproofing system. The CPSC report table 1 proves the cotton batting flameproofing system contains 7.5% Boric Acid and 2.4% Antimony. With no labeling requirements, it is typical for mattress makers to deny using chemicals!]


Dr. Donald Stone, Ph.D., Oakland CA  94618
I have fairly regular tolerance to a variety of toxic chemicals but demonstrated chemical sensitivity to formaldehyde. For instance when rugs used greater concentrations in the backing glues I would last about 2 minutes in a carpet store before I got faint. I now can last a half an hour. "A recently purchased mattress has given me the familiar symptoms of formaldehyde poisoning. When I did a little research into the new requirements for flame retardants, I was appalled at what is going into mattresses, and without any adequate labeling.  People buying flame retardant mattresses should be paid for participating in an experimental trial of an inadequately tested product. Not required by law to get a Dr's prescription to have the privilege of paying huge sums to purchase expensive mattresses without flame retardants. "


Ann Natale, BS, Rockford IL  61107
"I am currently suffering severe allergic reactions to my new Sealy mattress. The store, Slumberland and its rep deny any problems from the Boric acid. I am excited to find this site that will help ban boric acid."

Thank you for your work.


Linda Merrill, Columbia TN  38401
My good friend acquired asthma after prolonged exposure to boric acid.  (carpet treatment)   Subsequently, she died from an asthma attack.   This happened over a period of two years!!! 



Some people are called Canaries because they are more sensitive than others. The real risk is long term.


Vickie Symons, Cincinnati OH 45245
"Last month my husband and I bought two new flame-proof mattress sets for our 4 yr old twins. I was immediately nauseated and extremely fatigued after placing the mattresses in their room. We let their room air out as much as we could before they slept on them, but I was/am still incredibly concerned about the potential effects the mattresses may have on them. I did not realize how chemical-laden these mattresses were and definitely would have purchased mattresses without the flame-proofing had I been aware. Please stop this new law for the health of all."


Dr. Susan Toron, D.C., Paramus NJ  07652
"I was forced to purchase an organic bed for my son after learning he was being poisoned by the chemicals in his mattress.  In testing, he had 3x the level of antimony in his system, which was causing significant health and behavior problems(he was 4 at the time). Within 6 months of getting him out of the chemical bed and into the organic one, his antimony levels went back to normal, and his health and behavior problems stopped.  Bottom line is that we do not deserve to be poisoned by chemicals we are unaware of, especially when it comes to our mattresses. How many of us have health problems we are dealing with that are from the chemicals we are being exposed to from our mattresses.  As someone who lived through the horror of watching her son deal with chronic health and behavior problems at 4 years old, only to find out it was from his mattress, I feel these chemicals definately do not belong in our homes.  We should have a choice, don't you think.  Unfortunately, most of us do not have the knowledge to make the choice, because this information is not readily available.  Let's fight for change."



Doreen Mack, Lofty Expressions, Carson City NV  89703
I have clients who are highly allergic to any chemicals; as a matter of fact one of my clients was in the hospital with severe asthma because of a chemical in her chair that we had just purchased.  I find this absolutely absurd!  I would not want to sleep on a mattress treated in chemicals, especially Boric Acid.


Guenter Frivert, Pomp Home, Culver City CA  90232
I am very aware of these chemicals. I do have problems sleeping on a regular mattress because of these chemicals in them...unfortunately. I'm strictly against these chemicals. America the land of chemicals!



Beware of the laws that “protect” us!

Sandra Dorsey, Fallbrook, CA 92028

Today I was able to go out and work in the garden with my husband. Hallelujah!aH What a beautiful spring day in Fallbrook, CA. Two weeks ago I could barely lift my head off the pillow; I was waking up everyday nauseated, dizzy, weak and in a fog. I have a lot of allergies and sensitivities but I had reached the point of not being able to function.

Last year we bought a new mattress. California now has a law that all mattresses must be fire-retardant. At the time of the purchase, the salesman informed me of this requirement which immediately put me on alert. I questioned the salesman at length and he reassured me that in this name-brand mattress the fire-retardant is not just sprayed on but incorporated into the fabric of the mattress. Just to be sure, I immediately put a zippered anti-allergic cover on the mattress when it was delivered. Soon after the purchase, I noticed a lot of stomach acid and reflux which I wrote off as “must have been the dinner I had tonight.” Then I gradually developed a churning stomach waking me up about 4 AM. Then diarrhea. I had a bladder infection, sinus headaches continuously, and earaches. Well maybe with so many Santa Ana winds this year I thought, there must be more allergens. Aches, pains, muscle pulls followed. In January 2006 a sensitive bladder, then multiple bladder infections that kept returning. After spending two weeks on vacation in Mexico, I felt a little better. Lots of the pains subsided. Within a week of returning home it was all back again. I woke up one morning and told my husband not to go play golf; I would have to go to the emergency room. But after getting out of bed I felt better. Well finally I put two and two together. Maybe something is wrong with this bed! I decided to sleep in the guest room on an older mattress which was manufactured before the fire-retardant requirement. Next morning I could open my eyes, and open them widely. WOW. We switched the beds, moving the older mattress into our master bedroom and our suspicious new mattress into the guest room. I have been sleeping on the old mattress for 2 weeks now and what a relief. I can go to sleep in 15 minutes as opposed to an hour. I didn’t even hear it raining during the night this week. And I can sleep until 7 AM instead 4:30 to 5 AM. When I look in the mirror I see a much more relaxed face without the furrowed brow. I can walk and smile and laugh with my husband.

Conversations with the store where I bought the mattress and the company representative have been nonproductive. I have had the mattress over a year and they cannot guarantee it or give me a prorated refund. In fact when speaking to the company representative, I mentioned driving to Arizona to purchase a mattress without the fire-retardant and he said this new requirement will soon be nation wide and the company is making all their mattresses with fire-retardant now.

I have my life back now but how many other people will suffer from this unnecessary exposure to added chemicals. Some mattress companies will be using other more lethal chemicals or even spraying on the retardant. I feel sorry for the infants who are placed on these infected mattresses. This will surely cause more “imaginary” diseases, attention deficient, and autism. Problems with sensitivities are hard to pinpoint and many doctors are not sympathetic. If you buy a new mattress and begin to feel ill. Document your symptoms and complain to the maker immediately. Don’t make excuses like I did. These laws that are made to “protect” us do everything but. What we need to be healthier are natural fibers and fewer chemicals not more.

Sandra Dorsey

Fallbrook, CA 92028