Memory foam mattresses can cause breathing problems

Probably many people here know this already, but
I was just on the facebook sarcoidosis forum and I saw a mention that memory foam mattresses can cause asthma and breathing problems. (The poster speculated that this caused sarc., too.) Looked into it, and rashes, night sweats and itchiness are also attributed to memory foam.

I'm yanking my memory foam pad off my bed tonight. I do remember that my sore back problem, which ended when I bought the pad, was right before my breathing problems started.

There may be a good thread on this already but it doesn't come up easily, so I thought I would mention it. If someone knows the thread, please point it out to me.

Edited, December 25 - I'm adding this from ehow to my original post.

A "Respiratory problems memory foam" google brought up this on ehow:

Respiratory Problems
Another major issue with memory foam mattresses is represented by the respiratory problems it may cause. Chemicals used in memory foam can irritate the lungs and cause breathing issues for some people. Chemicals such as polyhydroxy polyol and toluene di-isocyanate petroleum products are harsh toxins that harm the lungs. Not everyone who sleeps on a memory foam mattress will develop these problems, but if your lungs are weak or you are susceptible, you may want to try a different type of mattress.

The Mom Logic Website also says, many people complain about having sore throats, itchy eyes and bloody noses after sleeping on a memory foam mattress.

Read more: Health Issues With Memory Foam Mattresses | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6101608_health-issues-memory-foam-mattresses.html# ixzz1hYR70hTQ

Edited December 25, 2011 at 8:58 am

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I'm sorry you're having that problem.

I've had a tempurpedic mattress for many years. (memory foam).
It has helped my fibromyalgia greatly.
To sleep in any other bed leaves me in terrible pain.
I've never had any breathing issues that i can contribute to memory foam.

I can look at some issues i think may have contributed to getting sarc.
For me personally, my memory foam mattress has not been one of them.

When your memory foam is new, just air it out really good.
Don't you all be too quick to throw it out without some careful thought..

Thanks for your input..

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Hello Mary May,

Can you please tell us more about why you or others on facebook sacoidosis forum (sorry, I don't have a facebook account and am not planning to get one) believe a memory foam caused, triggered, or worsened breathing problems and, especially, sarcoidosis?

I have a temporapedic mattrass - got is maybe 5-6 years ago. While sarc started later (approx. 2 years ago), I don't know if there's a relationship, so I am curious to hear why others think so.

Thanks for brining it up... and all the best.

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interesting.

I haven't read anything about that but, in the Sarc. Research questioner from UCSF, they asked "if you sleep on a sleep number bed". Nothing was ever mentioned about it during my appt. though. I have slept on one for the past 10 yrs. when we moved I noticed what looked like mold on my husbands side. You don't see it because of the zipped on top of the mattress, we only saw it when we were taking it apart. When we moved we got a serta latex memory foam mattress. (when I can't stand)

I'll have to keep my eyes open for more information on this.
Merry CHRISTmas,
Trae~

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I probably posted this too hastily. I was on my way to bed when I posted. It certainly would be a Christmas miracle if I could remove one of my own triggers in less than 5 minutes! (Pad is on the back porch, now, but I have had it for years, so I was in my hard bed thinking, the toxins should have come out by now, eh?)

Here is the post -

"Hi just a question regarding petroleum and chemical based memory foam beds. i bought one 7 months ago and i was fine no problems at all ,except my asthma. i have had asthma since i was 5 years old but since i bought one, my health hasnt been so good. i have read information on these matresses. and asthma was mentioned. I decided to remove the mattress out of my home. My asthma cleared up within 2 days. but now i am under the specialist because he thinks i have sarcoidosis. can in anyway these mattresses cause my lungs to be infected from the chemicals or dust from it. i believe sarcoidosis is casued by the enviroment. my is job is out doors. thanks everyone"

So, I looked up these mattresses. Sorry, I didn't get the urls of the sites I was reading that supported the idea that the mattresses were harmful to respiratory health. Can't find the good articles now. They mentioned boron (I'm allergic to borax) and another chemical used in the manufacture of mattresses with an abbreviation something like MNDT.

Some not so good articles that come up now for me. -

2008 - http://news.softpedia.com/news/Can-Your-Mattress-Kill-You-76887.shtml

2005 - http://www.peopleforcleanbeds.org/newsrelease.htm - this one is about the fire retardent chemical in mattresses.

2005 - http://www.chem-tox.com/guest/guestbook.html - this page has people telling their health problems after buying new mattresses. I take these stories with a grain of salt.

Note: I went to bed with an audible wheeze and was stressed and depressed because of that. Now I'm up in the middle of Christmas night, not wheezing, and feeling at peace. Joy to the World!

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Memory foam can cause breathing issues if you are sensitive to the materials. I am so I gave up on a mattress or a topper. They offgas too much for me. I am not sure about it causing Sarcoid but any enviromental trigger can cause a flare...for sure. I have MCS which is multiple chemicle sensitivity that I got from exposure to mold and pesticides. I got that just before my Sarc was diagnosed. I had a sleep number bed but the plastic made me sick. I ended up with a Kings Down mattress that I offgased for 6 months in an empty room before I started to use it. There is no down in it but it is very comfortable.

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I have a memory foam pillow that I bought about 2 years ago. I have never had a funny smell or noticed any worsening of my sarcoidosis symptoms that I can link to sleeping on it....If anything I wake up with much fewer headaches with the memory foam pillow than I did with any other type of pillow that I have tried and on a bright note I do not wake up with a sore neck, as I used to do every morning with my regular pillows. My 11 year old daughter also loves my pillow and is frequently trying to sneak mine off my bed for the night to replace it for hers.....LOL!

I had been debating on getting a memory foam mattress, however I think I will wait now and do a bit more research on the subject....

Happy Holidays to all!~

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I got a memory foam top mattress in July and my cough/breathing has continued to improve so do not believe it has had any effect - other than to help me to sleep better (when I finally get off to sleep).

It definitely wasn't the start of my sarc - but I do believe that what made my lungs bad was when I was sleeping under a man-made blanket (unfortunately, when I realised, I threw it out so have no idea of its make/materials) but it was like a woollen blanket with a slight sheen to it; light but warm. What I didn't realise was that there was a fine "dust" coming off the fabric, which as I was lying in it 24/7 (being home with an infection), I must have been breathing in and became so ill, I could hardly move over the course of about a month.

This is one of those times when I was "lucky" that my husband wasn't a good housekeeper so he never vacuumed around my bed (didn't want to disturb me - his excuse) so the dust became visible and we discovered the source and deal with it.

I now wonder how many others could be inhaling these same sort of minute particles through bedding without realising (a) because they are a lot cleaner people and therefore do not allow debris to build up and/or (b) the fabric is a lighter coloured material and therefore not noticeable (mine was a dark green while the carpet/curtains were cream so it showed up quickly).

Just a thought - anything that helps us to stop continuing with the harmful triggers.

Hope you are all having a good holiday - however you are spending it, Christie

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As I understand it, there has been no long term research to determine the effects of these mattresses. Duke University does do some kinds of studies on mattresses.

Not to make too big a deal about this, but here is more from the same poster on facebook, personal info removed:

...I've extracted some info on this topic.

" Memory foam mattress

Theoretically, a fully reacted polyurethane polymer should be chemically inert. But any chemist will tell you that even fully reacted polyurethane can produce dust inducing mechanical irritation to the eyes and lungs. And, as there are no industrial processes 100 % complete, you should expect the polyurethane to expel its chemical load. Only the resin blends can expel isocyanates, which were proven to be skin and respiratory sensitizers, causing asthma. This is just a short list of toxins found in an analyzed type of memory foam: TDI (Toluene Di-Isocyanate), Polyol (Poly Ether Gycol), Silicone Surfactant, Tertiary Amine, Stannous Octoate, Flame Retardant, Pigments/Dyes. TDI is an aromatic hydrocarbon (it is really smelly) causing asthma. Tertiary amines have strong odors and are allergenic. No need to comment on the dyes... You can read here how the "technology chemicals" can impact your health...

You are absolutely correct Wayne. i am having other tests but i was fine until last March. It seems very strange this mattress came in my home and now i am having trouble. Ive extracted some info on this toppic." Memory foam mattress Theoretically, a fully reacted polyurethane polymer should be chemically inert. But any chemist will tell you that even fully reacted polyurethane can produce dust inducing mechanical irritation to the eyes and lungs. And, as there are no industrial processes 100 % complete, you should expect the polyurethane to expel its chemical load. Only the resin blends can expel isocyanates, which were proven to be skin and respiratory sensitizers, causing asthma. This is just a short list of toxins found in an analyzed type of memory foam: TDI (Toluene Di-Isocyanate), Polyol (Poly Ether Gycol), Silicone Surfactant, Tertiary Amine, Stannous Octoate, Flame Retardant, Pigments/Dyes. TDI is an aromatic hydrocarbon (it is really smelly) causing asthma. Tertiary amines have strong odors and are allergenic. No need to comment on the dyes... You can read here how the "technology chemicals" can impact your health...

...It is clear that the hydrocarbons evaporate and load the sleeping room. Most of the hydrocarbons are powerful carcinogenic chemicals and attack, with severe damages, the immune and nervous systems. Most autoimmune disorders (like arthritis, lupus, allergies asthma, and others) have been connected with or thought to be boosted by increased exposure to petroleum. Interestingly, in the US there
are no exposure limits for carcinogenicity in the case of the polyurethans.

Some researches detected very high levels of toxins, like arsenic and phosphor compounds, in the memory foams."

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I had my sarcoid before I got my memory foam mattress and pillow. I'm also a chronic asthmatic, I have to say if anything I'm sleeping much better then I ever did since getting the memory foam. Since I got them I have noticed improvement in both the asthma and the sarcoid. I wonder if it just affects some of us. I think I will experiment by sleeping in guest bed for a month and see if I notice a difference. Thank you very much for shareing though. Best of luck to you all as always we will figure out our triggers.

Larry

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i sleep on a 5" thick memoryfoam topper on a waveless water bed matress and talk about altra support and altra comfort. i didn't sleep much until going back to the water bed & adding the topper. my chriopractor came and checked it out and was amazed,he said that it felt better than his $2500 matress set.....my cost frame given,matress $90 plus topper $50 plus conditioners for about 5yrs worth $10 total $150. won't give it up.

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Could be I am allergic to something in that pad. One way to tell would be to bring the pad back in and see what happens, but I don't think I will, unless my back starts hurting again.

I've gotten some major relief - I am on 4th week of steroids and doing many things to improve my overall health, but since I took the memory foam pad away, my post nasal drip/GERD/hacking up gunk for whatever reason has gone down to barely nothing. I was snorting boiled water morning and night to clear gunk from the sinus behind my nose, breathing steam, hacking into a towel at night... have had to do little or none of this since removing the pad. During the day I do cough up some gunk, but it's much thinner and probably reduced 80 percent or more. I don't need my fluticasone nasal spray (couldn't tell if that helped much, anyway.) But, if that gunk was all GERD, could be the imeprazole, working better as time goes on. I could skip the imeprazole and see what happens!

Also, my skin rash that broke out the night I started prednisone and itraconazole and got worse for the next three weeks has improved so much, again, starting as soon as I removed the pad. Quite a few variables on the rash - diet, lotions - so I won't say anything more about that.

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My rash and phlegm symptoms returned during this past week, so I admit it, it's not the memory foam.

I got help with my rash by being taken off the itraconazole by my allergy doctor. Just wonder how the fungi in my lungs are doing now!
Still scratching, though.

The GERD/PND is getting back to being a major drag, despite meds for both. I've been eating a lot, so that may be it. :(

Still, my problems are so minor compared to most of the people here, I can't complain. My best to all!

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