Does the risk of the new fireproof bed regulation outweigh the benefit?

Even new Crib Mattresses contain over half a pound of Poison of Boric Acid (Roach Killer) and Antimony (Arsenic) to meet the regulation.

EPA proves new flameproof mattresses Toxic

Toxin-Free Mattresses are available with your Doctor’s prescription

Before the new national flameproof mattress regulation, all mattresses would not ignite from cigarettes under a 1973 regulation. With the new regulation, all new mattresses must now withstand a two-foot wide blowtorch open flame test for 70 seconds. This law has been in effect in California since January 1, 2005, and since that time most new mattresses sold nationwide have contained toxins to meet the law, even before the national regulation was passed in February 2006.

Some things are clear: New Mattresses, including Crib Size, contain known acutely toxic and cancer causing chemicals including Boric Acid (yes, the Roach Killer), Antimony Trioxide, Silicon, Decabromodiphenyl Oxide, Ammonium Polyphosphate, Melamine, and Formaldehyde, to meet the severe open flame test. Scientists have proven these chemicals leach from flameproof mattresses in large quantities, have measured how much leaches to the surface, and proven these chemicals are absorbed by our bodies. Manufacturers are free to choose any untested chemicals they wish to use in mattresses to pass the test. With no labeling requirements for the flame retardant chemicals in mattresses you will never know which chemicals you and your children are sleeping in and absorbing every night. (1)

There are no scientific studies that say it is safe to sleep in these chemicals. Many MD’s say it is unsafe for anyone. One Medical School Professor and Researcher called it: “Another example of ignorance beyond reason.” (2)

The only document which examines the safety of sleeping in some, but not all, of the most commonly used chemicals in flameproof mattress is a short review internally generated by U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) employees in January 2006. (1) This is the document proponents point to as proof flameproof mattresses are safe. Ironically, the document proves known acutely toxic and cancer causing chemical leach from flameproof beds in large quantities, and are absorbed by our bodies.

The CPSC report has a variety of problems, errors, and omissions:

First, they excluded children under age five from the analysis by assuming all these children will sleep on vinyl sheets due to bedwetting problems, and that this will protect them from absorbing the toxic chemicals in their mattresses. A lot of research proves even remarkably low level toxin exposure can harm young children. Even new Crib Mattresses contain Boric Acid and Antimony to meet the regulation. European scientists proved Antimony leaches through vinyl on crib mattresses, and linked it to SIDS. (3)

In an October 2004 CPSC Report the authors wrote:

“Formaldehyde is a known sensitizer, and is also regarded as a carcinogen. Data are needed to determine the conditions for, and potential releases of, formaldehyde from barriers made with melamine/formaldehyde resin fibers.” (4)

In the January 2006 report these same authors do not test for or mention formaldehyde absorption. They knew about Formaldehyde, and omitted it.

An independent review is required by law, but the report basically failed the review as the CPSC rebutted and ignored the recommendations. The reviewer complained strongly that CPSC assumptions of safe levels of toxin absorption do not agree with other agencies, and that they changed the rules of the National Academes of Science ‘Child Sucking Test,’ and then did not even apply it to one year old children who the test was designed to protect. If they had used the EPA number for Antimony safe absorption it would have proved mattresses toxic by 27.5 times, even with their low skin absorption assumptions. (5) They admit uncertainty and that they have no data for Antimony skin absorption, we know one to a few skin applications kills rabbits, (6) yet they assume we will absorb only 2/1,000’s of the Antimony that has leached to the surface and contacts our body.

When pressed that these chemicals are not proven safe to sleep in, the CPSC responded: “All of the statues that provide regulatory authority to the CPSC explicitly require risk-based decision making, thus precluding application of the "precautionary principle."”

Other flame retardants including PCB’s, Tris, and PBDE’s were initially thought nontoxic, only to find years later that human damage had been done, and then these chemicals were banned. We already know the chemicals used to flameproof new mattresses are acutely toxic and also cause cancer.

Boric Acid is Roach Killer, simple acute poison, and a known reproductive and developmental toxin. "Demonstrated injury to the testes and the developing fetus." (7) Boric Acid already poisons 6,463 Americans each year. (8)

Antimony seems to be readily absorbed through our skin. Antimony is a heavy metal almost identical to Arsenic. Antimony is known to accumulate in our bodies. Antimony is an ancient poison they used to knock off rivals. Antimony MSDS: “Chronic Exposure: Prolonged or repeated exposure may damage the liver and the heart muscle. … May cause heart to beat irregularly or stop." (6) If the poison doesn't kill us first, Antimony Trioxide is also known to cause cancer and even the CPSC admits: “The cancer effects are cumulative. Every exposure contributes to the overall lifetime risk of developing cancer.” (1)

According to the National Safety Council 17,550 Americans already die each year from “Accidental poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances,” this number now exceeds deaths in car accidents. (9)

Now, every American, all three hundred million of us will be eventually forced to unknowingly sleep in and absorb poisonous and cancer causing chemicals for the rest of our and our children’s lives. All to avoid a one in 1.111 million mattress fire risk.

Close chronic chemical mattress exposure is risky. People have already gotten sick. (10) We have made toxic mistakes in the past. If these mattresses eventually prove poisonous, how many millions of people will be harmed or killed?

You may agree the risk outweighs the benefit.

Fortunately, the law allows Doctors including Osteopaths and Chiropractors, to prescribe toxin-free mattresses, to those lucky few who learn the truth.

(Above is 995 words including headlines)

Mark Strobel, BS, started and owns Strobel Technologies, a national specialty mattress manufacturer in business for thirty-two years. For the last two years Mark led the fight against flameproof mattresses by launching  and generating news and 800 Doctor and public comments against the regulation. You can reach Mark at 812-280-6000, or Email Now he offers toxin-free prescription mattresses through



(1) “Quantitative Assessment of Potential Health Effects from the Use of Fire Retardant (FR) Chemicals in Mattresses.” US Consumer Products Safety Commission, January 9, 2006, Thomas & Brundage.

(2) Written Medical Doctor Comments Received:

(3) “Antimony leaching from cot [crib] mattresses and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)” Human & Experimental Toxicology, Volume 17, Number 3, 1998, pp. 138-139(0), SAGE Publications, Authors: Jenkins R.O. 1; Craig P.J. 1; Goessler W. 2; Irgolic K.J. 2. Affiliations: 1: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Leicester LE1 9BH, UK 2: Institute for Analytical chemistry, Karl Franzens Universität Graz, Universitätsplatz 1, 8010 Graz, Austria,  This European study was cited by: National Academies of Science, Toxicological Risks of Selected Flame-Retardant Chemicals (2000), Commission on Life Sciences (CLS)

(4) “Qualitative Assessment of Potential Risk from the Use of Flame Retardant Chemicals in Mattresses.” US Consumer Products Safety Commission. October 25, 2004. , Thomas & Brundage, Formaldehyde:  top of page 48 of PDF, 168 of document.

(5) Integrated Risk Information System, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Antimony: -EPA Safe Level for Antimony at low confidence, 4E-4 is .0004, 4/10,000’s mg/kg/day: CPSC says we will absorb .011 mg/kg/day. (1) Mattresses Toxic by 27.5 Times:

(6) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Department of Health and Human Services, Toxicological Profile, Antimony, Health Effects, December 1992: CDC Quotes on Antimony Risks: “Death was observed in rabbits following a single [dermal] application of Antimony. p 22 … Two out of four rabbits died after 6-8 topical applications of antimony trioxide paste. The antimony trioxide was combined with a mixture formulated to resemble acidic sweat.”

(7) “Toxicological Review of Boron and Compounds,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, June 2004, Smallwood, Lipscomb, Swartout, Teuschler, (Throughout document and conclusions at bottom of page 85 of document, page 95 of PDF.) 

(8) American Association of Poison Control Centers, Boric Acid Poisons 6,463 Americans each year: 

(9) The “National Safety Council” says 17,550 people die each year from “Accidental poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances," this number now exceeds deaths in car accidents: 

(10) People sick from their mattresses written comments received: 

Additional Resources: (a) See the CPSC Risk Assessment PDF with relevant facts bookmarked and highlighted: 

(b) Antimony leaches through vinyl on crib mattresses and linked to SIDS: 

(c) Details of EPA proves mattresses toxic by 27 times: 

(d) Mattress chemicals risks: 

(e) Mattresses fail child sucking test, and calculation of Boric Acid poisoning from various sources including topical preparations: 

(f) Selected causes of accidental deaths, numbers and odds: