RSS Feed

Category Archives: certifications

The Dangers of the Foam Crib Mattresses

Posted on

Baby-sleep-comfort

During the in first years, infants and toddlers spend at least 50% of their time sleeping, so it is essential that the time is spent on a healthy and comfortable mattress. Here is a great article, “Keep Your Baby off that Foam Crib Mattress,” by Katherine Martinko from Green Home, that discusses the dangers of the foam used in many baby products such as crib mattresses, car seats and more.

VOCs_crib_mattress.jpg.662x0_q100_crop-scale

What do crib mattresses, cushioned car seats, and change tables all have in common? Yes, babies use them, but all of these items contain foam. This is problematic, since foam releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the environment. VOCs come from the variety of resins, catalysts, solvents, and adhesives that are used in the manufacturing process, and they continue to volatilize long after production.

Chronic exposures to low levels of VOCs have been linked in the past to infant allergies, asthma, and lung infections, but researchers have now done something different. They have measured the actual quantity of VOCs being emitted in a sleeping baby’s bedroom, and what they found is quite scary.

Researchers from the University of Texas, led by environmental engineer Brandon Boor, analyzed 20 new and used crib mattresses made from either polyurethane foam or polyester foam. In a bedroom-sized chamber with a heated steel cylinder to imitate the heat released by a sleeping infant’s body (which would speed up the release of VOCs), they compared measurements of VOCs within the room (10 feet away from the crib) and within the infant’s breathing zone (2.5 cm/1 in above the mattress).

According to Chemical & Engineering News, they found 30 different VOCs, including some that are classified as environmental pollutants and developmental disruptors. New mattresses released four times as many VOCs as old ones on average.

But most importantly, they found that VOCs were significantly higher in the infant’s breathing zone than in the middle of the room, which is serious when you consider that many infants sleep 12-14 hours a day in close proximity to foam.

The good news is that consumers don’t have to wait around for the industry to fix itself. There are alternative solutions that use latex, natural rubber, organic cotton, eucalyptus fibre, and/or coconut coir fillings, and are coated in organic cotton or wool, which are natural flame retardants. If you’re looking for a crib mattress, start by checking out this helpful list at Inhabitots. If you can’t afford a natural mattress, one of the study’s coauthors recommends setting aside a new mattress for six months before bringing it into the house, giving it time to off-gas sufficiently.

Check out our previous blog about OMI’s certified-organic crib mattresses, Providing a Safe Sleeping Environment.

For more OMI product information, click HERE

A Look Inside the OMI Duo

Here is an informative video featuring Whitney, OMI’s National Sales Manager, discussing the key features of the OrganicPedic® Duo.

For more information on the Duo mattress, click HERE, or check out our previous blog about the benefits of the Duo Mattress, How Opposites Attract…the Duo.

The Science and Value of Organic

There are (literally) tons of benefits of choosing organic products. Check out this report from The Organic Center recently released by the USDA about the impact you can have by making an organic purchasing choice.   

The Organic Center Organic Report

For the full report click HERE.

Should Americans Fear Their Furniture?

21QNA1-articleLarge

James Redford and Kirby Walker, directors of “Toxic Hot Seat” at Napa Valley Film Festival in California

Airing tonight on HBO is a documentary that explores the chemical-laden flame retardants contained in much of today’s furniture.

Here is an excerpt from the article, Should Americans Fear Their Furniture? by New York Times author Jane Margolies:

The pet hairs and red wine stains on sofas across America, it turns out, should be the least of our concerns. The real issue is what is in the foam cushions we curl up on every day: up to two pounds of flame retardants.

In their HBO documentary “Toxic Hot Seat,” scheduled to be aired on Monday, the directors James Redford and Kirby Walker disclose that these chemicals, as used in home furnishings, do not stop fires. They do, however, whoosh out of seat cushions when we plop down, hitching a ride on airborne dust and ending up in our bodies. They have been linked to cancer and other health disorders.

The film explores how a 1975 California law requiring retardants (Technical Bulletin 117) became widely adopted. And it follows the firefighters, scientists, health advocates, state legislators and investigative journalists who brought attention to the chemicals, leading to a recent reform of the California mandate — which the directors, who spoke from their homes in the San Francisco area, applaud.”

For the full article click HERE.

This issue was previous explored in the OMI blog “Makers of Flame Retardants Manipulate Research Findings.”

We at OMI continue to use a safer system that allows us to use organic wool as our only flame retardant. As a result, our mattresses are able to pass federal flame tests without the use of toxic chemicals or silica barriers. To use any form of chemical flame retardant in our products would violate our ethical standards and integrity. We stand by our purity so you and your family can have a safer place to rest your heads at night.

To learn more about OMI and the certified products we offer, click HERE

Are You Sleeping on an Oil Field?

Fotolia_2667163_Subscription_L-676x450

Here is an excerpt from the article “Are You Sleeping on an Oil Field?” by Channaly Philipp, about the health risks of traditional foam mattresses and the benefits of organic:

If you sleep on a conventional mattress (like most people do), you’re spending a third of your life lying on toxic chemicals. If this little-known fact has you tossing and turning, read on.

Since the 1960s, mattresses have been made of polyurethane foam, a material derived from petroleum that emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The popular memory foam mattresses are made from this material.

But VOCs are only part of the cocktail of chemicals in foam mattresses. Required to be flame-resistant, foam mattresses are imbued with flame-retardant chemicals that can cause cancer and nervous-system disorders.

Walt Bader, a sufferer of a condition called multiple chemical sensitivity and the author of “The Toxic Bedroom,” had several mattresses analyzed by a lab in Atlanta in 2005. One memory foam model was found to emit 61 chemicals.

The next year, he published the first definitive list of chemicals outgassing from memory foam mattresses.

Nine of these chemicals are recognized as carcinogens by just about every significant health organization in the world,” Bader said on his website. “And do you know what has happened? Nothing.”

The outgassing is not only nefarious to people who suffer from respiratory issues, but some of the chemicals are also known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.

As more people become educated about what they’re sleeping on, they are turning to organic mattresses and bedding in greater numbers.

.Organic mattresses, made of natural materials such as wool, cotton, and rubber latex, present an alternative to conventional mattresses and are becoming increasingly popular.

Wool is a natural fire retardant, and is excellent for regulating temperature and air circulation—a boon for anyone suffering from night sweats. The natural materials are also resistant to dust mites, which are a trigger for asthma and allergies.”

For the full article, click HERE.

FTC Cracks Down on Manufacturer Greenwashing

Posted on

FTC-logo

An important announcement yesterday from the Federal Trade Commission marked a major accomplishment in the fight against greenwashing. At OMI, it is our goal always to offer the purest products available, and it is great to see that fraudulent greenwashing claims are being prosecuted by our governmental agencies charged with protecting consumers. This will help consumers determine what is truly organic and healthy and what is just marketing hype.

The FTC has brought actions against manufactures and/or retailers for the following false assurances:

  • Claiming products do not contain formaldehyde, toluene, or phenols in their latex mattresses
  • Claiming their rubber is “chemical free”
  • Claiming that their mattresses contain no toxic substances
  • Claiming that their mattresses contain fewer contaminants and chemicals than other companies’ memory foam or latex mattresses
  • Inadequate tests that show their mattresses do not contain any VOCs or chemicals
  • Ficticous and misleading logos
  • False certifications

Here is an excerpt from the July 25th, 2013 FTC announcement:

“Under settlements with the Federal Trade Commission, three mattress manufacturers have agreed to stop making unsupported claims that the mattresses they sell are free of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
 
In addition to challenging the companies’ VOC-free claims, the FTC charged that two of the companies made unsupported claims that their mattresses were chemical-free and lacked odor.  The FTC also challenged one company’s claim that its mattresses are made from 100 percent natural materials, and another company’s claim that its mattresses were certified by an organic mattress organization.

In settling the FTC’s charges, the companies have agreed not to make similar claims in the future, unless they have competent and reliable scientific evidence to prove they are true.  In addition, one company is barred from making misrepresentations about certifications.”

For the full article and links for more information on the FTC announcement, click HERE.

To see a full list of OMI’s certifications, see our Purity Guarantee HERE.  Also check out the blog “Our Dedicated Organic Factory” to learn about the added steps we take to ensure you receive the benefits we claim.

Textile Truths: A Parent’s Guide

We are an organic company, so using organic products is a no-brainer for us.  But we have to remember that not everyone has the same immersion into the world of organics, and new parents need to know when it is essential to choose organic products.

This great info-graphic,  put together by our friends at Harmony Art, is a great visual aid for new parents, and puts the “how” and “why” of buying organic for your baby into an easy-to-digest graphic that takes away the guessing game:

TextileTruthsBaby

To read about how this piece came together, be sure to check out Harmony Art’s blog.

Crib_Stack

In case you are wondering:  OMI’s innerspring crib mattresses are GOTS certified, and our latex crib mattresses are GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) certified.

Go ahead and share this graphic (download the pdf here) and help spread the word.

OTA Reports 8 in 10 U.S. Parents Purchase Organic Products

Posted on

header_magnetmail1

Check out this article from the Organic Trade Association:

Consumersurveyinforgraphic

“U.S. families are increasingly embracing organic products in a wide range of categories, with 81 percent now reporting they purchase organic at least sometimes. This finding is one of many contained in the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) newly released 2013 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study, conducted Jan. 18-24, 2013.

“More and more parents choose organic foods primarily because of their desire to provide healthful options for their children,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s CEO and Executive Director.

Not only are more consumers choosing organic products at least sometimes, but the majority of those buying organic foods are purchasing more items than a year earlier. New entrants to buying organic now represent 41 percent of all families – demonstrating interest in the benefits of organic food and farming is on the rise. Produce continues to be the leading category of organic purchases, with 97 percent of organic buyers saying they had purchased organic fruits or vegetables in the past six months. Breads and grains, dairy and packaged foods were also frequently cited (all scoring above 85 percent) among those who purchase organic. Families choosing organic foods are increasingly important to retailers of all types, with organic buyers reporting spending more per shopping trip, and shopping more frequently than those who never purchase organic food.

Consistent with findings from previous studies, nearly half (48 percent) of those who purchase organic foods said they do so because they are “healthier for me and my children.” Additionally, parents’ desire to avoid toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers (30 percent), antibiotics and growth hormones (29 percent), and genetically modified organisms (22 percent) ranked high among the reasons cited for buying organic products.

Awareness of the USDA Organic seal has also grown, with more consumers more likely to look for the seal when shopping for organic products. Moreover, over four in ten parents (42 percent) say their trust in organic products has increased, versus 32 percent who indicated this point of view a year ago. In fact, younger, new-to-organic parents are significantly more likely to report improved levels of trust in organic products.”

It is great to see the industry growing and more people becoming aware of the importance of organics.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA), which is the membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America.  The OTA represents over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states and has become the leading voice for organic trade in the United States.  For more news, articles and insight into the organics industry, visit the Organic Trade Association website HERE.

Mattress Protection: The OMI Mattress Pad Line

Posted on

SpillonBed

With so many great OMI mattress accessories available, how can you be sure you’re getting what’s right for you?

Here’s an overview of the mattress pads we offer here at OMI to help you choose the right product(s) for any situation.

Organic Cotton Flannel Mattress Pad

Our certified organic Flannel Mattress Pad makes a great first line of defense when protecting your mattress. Our flannel pad protects the mattress surface from perspiration and staining, keeping it pristine for years. It’s made of two layers of 8.5-oz. certified organic cotton flannel, quilted together and finished by hand with a certified organic cotton tape edge and natural-rubber elastic corner straps (crib size is fitted). It’s seamless and machine washable, making it the perfect complement for any organic mattress.

FlannelMatPad Starting at $175

Premium Eco-Wool™ Moisture Pad

Our Eco-Wool™ Moisture Pad offers powerful moisture protection, preventing soiling due to heavy night sweats, incontinence, or other moisture-related concerns. It’s made from certified wool, which is naturally moisture resistant and easy to clean – simply rinse with warm water and air dry – along with natural-rubber elastic corner straps to hold it in place. An absolute must-have for anyone concerned about keeping a mattress dry and healthful.

file_gallery2

Starting at $65

Premium Eco-Wool Underbed Pad

Place our Eco-Wool™ Underbed Pad under your mattress to protect it from airborne dust or premature wear-and-tear caused by the mattress rubbing against wooden bed slats. Made from dense, needle-punched certified wool, it’s supremely breathable.

file_gallery

Starting at $119

Certified Organic Cotton Bed-Bug and Dust-Mite Mattress Barrier Cover

Our mattress barrier covers are great for protecting your mattress from bed bugs and dust mites. They’re also the best way to protect the surface of your mattress from staining, and ultimately to extend the life of your mattress.  Our barrier covers are made from tightly woven 100% organic cotton, and close with a heavy-duty brass zipper.

MattressBarrier

Starting at $220

To learn how these accessories should be placed on your mattress, check out the OMI Blog “How Does Your Mattress Stack Up.”   For more information about the pure accessories we have available, click HERE

Our Dedicated Organic Factory

Posted on

WEB1_0909

As the customer service rep here at OMI, I receive many calls in regards to our organic factory.

We created our dedicated 100%-organic factory (the first large-scale organic factory in North America) long before many of the current certifications were even available. As certifications come along, we make sure to grab them at the first opportunity so that we can continue to provide the purest product available. Being the first to have an entire factory GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified, the first to have a mattress Greenguard certified, and the first to have our latex GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) certified show just this. We take our certifications very seriously. Our GOTS certification ensures that everything going in or out of the factory is certified organic, from the raw materials to the finished products. If there were any types of synthetics or added chemicals, we would lose our certifications, and we will not allow that to happen.

 WEB3_6007

When it comes to the cleanliness of our factory, we go above and beyond. An OrganicPedic mattress never touches the floor unless it’s covered in our food-grade plastic, hermetically sealed and ready to be shipped. Employees don’t wear perfume, smoke, or even use fabric softeners. We instituted a clean room sewing environment in the sewing room. Shoe booties are required so dirt and contaminants are not tracked in. We make sure it is “so clean if you dropped a peanut butter sandwich on the floor, you could still eat it.” Anything that could potentially contaminate mattresses, top-of-bed items, or raw materials is kept out so that your mattress is left just in the state you are buying it in: ORGANIC.

WEB4_0901

OMI also goes a step further to ensure the purity of each and every product by ozone sanitizing our raw materials. We developed a method of ozone sanitization to naturally purify and prevent contamination of yeasts, molds, and bacteria. No chemicals or harsh bleaching treatments needed!

images

Little waste is produced at our factory. Latex scraps are turned into shredded rubber to make pillows and organic cotton pieces are put back into the quilting of our fabrics, etc. There are no trash cans on the factory floor. Everything is reused!

The OMI factory is one of the most impressive places I have personally ever seen, from the cleanliness to the certifications to the ozone sanitizing and recycling habits. This is just a small idea of what goes on in our factory. For more certification answers, check back in the future for a blog on “understanding our certifications.”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 470 other followers