Incredible but true. Please look at the facts before judging this issue:
* National Flameproof Mattress Regulation
passed 2-16-06, California Law in effect over a year
* New Flameproof Mattresses proven to contain acutely toxic and cancer causing chemicals
* These Toxins proven to leach through our sheets and be absorbed by our bodies
* Government says we will absorb .802 mg Antimony, .081 mg Boric Acid, .073 mg DBDPO, every day
* Children under five excluded from risk assessment
* Doctors including Osteopaths and Chiropractors can prescribe toxin free beds under new law
Unfortunately because Strobel now offers prescription mattresses some people jump to conclusions that the facts and risks are tainted or untrue. The facts are true and verifiable. If you look at Strobel's fight history you will see he has led the fight to stop the law for the past three years. He has spent three thousand hours and a lot of his own money to try to stop the law for no financial gain, only to protect the public health. See his work at www.PeopleForCleanBeds.org. Now it is probably impossible to get the law repealed. The only thing that might happen is to get one chemical banned, only to find years later it is other chemicals that prove toxic. Strobel mistakenly thought he had a chance to stop the law. All we can do now is offer prescription beds. Chiropractors can prescribe and sell prescription beds and make a lot of money, but this does not make it wrong. It provides a service to inform people of the risks, and give Americans freedom of choice to not sleep in toxins to avoid a one in one million mattress fire risk. Plus, as a leading doctor in environmental medicine, Dr. Laurence A. Plumlee, M.D. said: "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?"
Ultimately it is the editors choice to include Strobel's name or website www.PrescriptionBeds.com in any article. But you may find Strobel to be part of the story and that the website gives people a choice of where to get prescription mattresses. They are not readily available because almost no one knows of the toxic chemicals in new mattresses, it is a well kept secret. Many Doctors oppose this chemical use and law. Please see the verifiable story below. Regardless of if you choose to use Strobel's name or websites or not, we hope you will help get the word out and report this story. It might help save people from harm.
The recent January 9, 2006 Risk Assessment of Flameproof Mattresses from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission proves which chemicals are being used in flameproof mattresses. Please see the CPSC table of chemicals used PDF page 17, at: http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia06/brief/matttabh.pdf (Or see a copy of CPSC table: Table of Chemicals in Beds) To help you read the table: H3BO3 is Boric Acid, SB2O3 is Antimony, DBDOP is Decabromodiphenyl Oxide, also called Deca. These are not ordinary flame retardants we think of as safe. These are known to be acutely toxic and cancer causing. Unlike flame retardants used in other products such as computer cases, drapes, or building materials our exposure in mattresses is especially risky due to our close chronic exposure eight hours every day for the rest of our lives. When you look at the table of chemicals in flameproof mattresses you will see that 5 contain Boric Acid and 7 contain Antimony, and all the Boric Acid systems also contain Antimony. These are the most popular and widely used systems in new mattresses today.
Government testing proves these chemicals leach through the surface of mattresses to be absorbed by our bodies. Please look at the CPSC table 16, on PDF page 45 at: http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia06/brief/matttabd.pdf (Or see a copy of CPSC table 16: Table of Poisons Absorbed) ADD is average daily dose. You will see the government says on average we will absorb .802 mg Antimony, .081 mg Boric Acid, .073 mg DBDPO, every day for the rest of our lives.
This information alone is
enough for many people to know they don't want to sleep in these chemicals and
would rather have a choice. This seems especially true for chiropractors
believing in wellness.
It is my opinion your audience would like to know about this issue.
Under the existing California Law and the new National Regulation, all new mattresses must withstand the above blowtorch open flame of a 12 inch wide burner on the side for 50 seconds, and a top 10 inch wide burner for 70 seconds, and then the mattress not ignite for 30 minutes. It requires a lot of chemical in the surface of your mattress to pass this test.
Antimony and Boric Acid systems are the most popular and commonly used to flameproof mattresses. There are a few other systems, although none are natural or chemical free. If safe and chemical free systems exist, why doesn't the CPSC point them out? While the CPSC calls Antimony systems moderate risk, they call Melamine Resin systems low risk in previous documents. Melamine Resin systems are made from the reaction of Melamine and Formaldehyde, and contain free formaldehyde. The CPSC tested these systems for Melamine release, but not for Formaldehyde release. Another system they discuss is Ammonium Polyphosphate, a commonly used fertilizer. We know less about the health effects of this chemical than we know about Antimony or Boric Acid. The CPSC studied Ammonium Polyphosphate in mattresses and reported it leaches from mattresses in large quantities. However, since it does not meet their legal guidelines to qualify as acutely toxic like Boric Acid or Antimony, they called it non-toxic and did not report how much we would absorb from mattresses. We doubt our children chronically absorbing this fertilizer will grow any better.
There are no labeling requirements of the FR chemicals used in mattresses under the law. The CPSC argued that consumers would not be able to distinguish a safe system. We agree. If mattresses were labeled which system would you choose, Boric Acid with Antimony, Antimony alone, Ammonium Polyphosphate, or Formaldehyde?
With no labeling requirements mattress makers report their systems are nontoxic, or even that they don't use chemicals. We often hear they claim they use Kevlar, not chemicals. Kevlar is expensive and the only place we know of Kevlar being used is in the perimeter thread used to hold the mattress together. The big players in the innerspring mattress industry went to the CPSC and asked for and pushed for this law.
Are Flameproof Mattresses Safe?
We have learned toxic lessons in the past including PCB's in the 70's, Tris, PBDE's being found in women's bodies and breast milk recently, Mercury, Lead, Asbestos, and more. It took twenty years to discover Asbestos might be harmful, and another twenty years to prove it was harmful. A relatively small percentage of our population was chronically exposed to Asbestos, almost all of us will sleep on flameproof mattresses within the next seven to ten years. What will we learn 30 years from now?
As Doctors who oppose this law point out, there is no science that says it is safe to sleep in these chemicals. The only document that concludes it is safe to sleep in and absorb these poisons is the internally generated CPSC Risk Assessment of Flameproof mattresses written by CPSC employees. The law requires this be reviewed by an independent reviewer. If you read the independent reviewers comments beginning on page 60 of Tab-D linked above you begin to get a sense the conclusions could be wrong. (Also see Risk Assessment Details)The independent reviewer complained strongly that the CPSC changed the rules on the child sucking test, did not give adequate consideration to the cancer risks, and complained seven times that the CPSC assumptions of safe levels of toxic chemical absorptions do not agree with other agencies. The CPSC responses to these comments are interesting because the tone seems arrogant and defiant. In most cases the CPSC simply rebutted the reviewer and insisted they were right. What good is the independent review? Our analysis shows a proper child sucking test would fail and might have stopped the law. For Antimony the CPSC assumed it is safe to absorb 2.3 mg/per kilogram of body weight/per day, this is 166 mg per day for an average 160 pound adult. If we follow the independent reviewers advice and use the EPA safe absorption number of 4/10,000 of a mg/kg/day it changes everything. This number is 5,750 times less than the CPSC assumption. Indeed, if you use the EPA safe number in CPSC safety calculations it proves flameproof mattresses toxic by 27.5 times, this would have stopped the law. If you look still further into some of their assumptions you will see they admit there are uncertainties in any risk assessment, and admit they have no data on how much antimony we might absorb through our skin. “As with any risk assessment, there are assumptions, limitations, and sources of uncertainty. … it should be noted that percutaneous [skin] absorption data were not available for antimony.” (P 40) If you look at their Table 8 p. 27, you will see they assume we will absorb only 2/1,000's of the Antimony, and 9/100,000's of the Boric Acid per hour, of the chemicals that have leached to the surface of our mattresses. This seems a very small number when the CDC reports a study saying: "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." Antimony Trioxide is the exact chemical used in mattresses. If it was the intention of the CPSC to reach a predetermined conclusion, use of these assumptions would be a good way to accomplish this goal. Based on this report alone, every American will eventually sleep in toxins. The CPSC has proven we will absorb a daily dose of poisons from flameproof mattresses. But we really don't know exactly how much poison we will actually absorb, or if this is safe for everyone, especially children.
Antimony is almost identical to Arsenic, and a heavy metal like Mercury or Lead. Low level chronic exposure to Antimony is known to attack the liver and heart, and may cause the heart to beat irregularly or stop. Antimony accumulates in the body. (See Antimony Risks) When pressed by the independent reviewer about the cancer risk from Antimony Trioxide the CPSC admits: “The cancer effects are cumulative. Every exposure contributes to the overall lifetime risk of developing cancer.”
Boric Acid is Roach Killer. In addition to being a simple poison Boric Acid is acutely toxic and and a known reproductive and developmental toxin. (See Boric Acid Risks) DBDPO is in the family of PBDE's being found in women's breast milk, accumulates in the the body, and is linked to cancer.
Children under five excluded from risk assessment. "CPSC staff has chosen to examine older children (5 year olds) because younger children's mattresses are more likely to be waterproofed due to their higher likelihood of bedwetting. This waterproofing, either with fluid-resistant ticking or mattress covers, is expected to reduce contact with FR chemicals.” This seems a bad assumption since only 20% of young children have bed wetting problems, and 80% of children will likely not have a vinyl sheet over their mattresses. Additionally, a vinyl mattress cover may not provide protection, other research proves Antimony leaches through vinyl on mattresses and is linked to SIDS. A lot of research over the last thirty years has proven young children are vulnerable to even low levels of toxins. Crib, portable-crib, and youth mattresses must also be flameproof under the law.
It is incredible that the CPSC puts our entire population, 300 million people, at any level of risk to save 142-270 people from fire after all existing mattresses are replaced. Even these numbers are questionable, the real number saved might be much lower. According to USA Today: "Though the USA has the world's toughest flame retardancy standards, 3,000 people die in fires each year. The Chemical Manufacturers Association estimates the number would be up to 960 higher without such flame retardants." We already use 1.2 Billion pounds of flame retardants in the US annually, now we will use even more by having to sleep in and absorb them too. The CPSC has called flameproof bed systems Moderate Risk, Low Risk, and not an appreciable risk. Any level of risk applied to 300 million people is a big risk. We have learned toxic lessons in the past. Why do we not apply common sense to this issue?
It is difficult to visualize the magnitude of 300 million people. Even if this chemical use does not prove catastrophic, it seems likely to kill or harm many more than it saves. We have millions and millions of sensitive people. People with preexisting health conditions, unborn children, young children, elderly, and more. For instance, seventeen million people suffer from Asthma and 5,000 die from Asthma attacks each year. Boric Acid is a known respiratory irritant and Asthma suffers have reported not being able to tolerate Boric Acid mattresses. 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.
Chemical exposure risk depends on dose and duration. Our risk in mattresses is close chronic exposure for the rest of our lives. It is proven we will absorb doses of poisons every day. It is difficult to say exactly how much poison we will absorb, and if this is safe for every American. No one can predict the future. Free Americans should have a right to know about the risks and be able to make their own choices, but our government now makes this choice for us. What will we learn 10, 20, or 30 years from now?
One opponent of the law called this "A human experiment without consent." Flameproof mattresses are now the law of the land. The toxic chemicals in new flameproof mattresses are a well kept secret. If people are lucky enough to learn of this issue, the only choice people have is a bare waterbed without a quilted cover or a prescription mattress.
President, Strobel Technologies, www.Strobel.com, www.PrescriptionBeds.com
Director, People For Clean Beds, www.PeopleForCleanBeds.org
Address: 3131 Industrial Parkway, Jeffersonville IN 47130