There is a lot of hype about the importance of removing chemicals from the foods that we eat. However, less thought is given to other products in our lives. For example, you may never have thought about your bedding as a source of chemical exposure, but research shows that it might be just that. Read on to see why you might want to switch to organic bedding ASAP.
Conventional cotton is full of toxins
According to data compiled by the Environmental Justice Foundation, cotton is the world’s “dirtiest” crop. Cotton is treated with dozens of pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals to help it grow better and make it easier to harvest. When it’s time to harvest cotton, farmers spray a toxic defoliant that not only kills the cotton plants, but also kills all nearby plant life as well. Each year, over $800 million is spent on cotton chemicals that are classified as toxic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO states that between one and three percent of all agricultural workers are infected with acute pesticide poisoning as a direct result of cotton farming. These toxins are still present in some form when the cotton is made into bedding.
Conventional bedding emits chemical vapors
You may not realize it, but much conventional bedding is further treated with chemicals. Not only is it treated during production, but it is also given treatments after production to reduce wrinkles, to prevent shrinking, to prevent stains, to prevent fires and to resist water. All of this chemical treatment results in sheets that release chemical vapors while you sleep. Considering that most people spend upwards of 50 hours in bed each week, that is a long time to be breathing in dangerous chemical vapors. Organic bedding, on the other hand, is not treated with these dangerous chemicals.
Conventional bedding may exacerbate allergies and other health conditions
Many individuals with allergies, particularly skin reactions, report allergic reactions to conventional bedding. It is easy to see why conventional bedding can cause allergic reactions considering how many chemicals are used to manufacture it. If you have sensitive skin and are prone to allergies, switching to organic bedding may make a big difference in your life. Other allergies and health conditions can also be exacerbated or caused by toxins. Reducing the overall load of chemicals your body has to process can make a huge difference in your health.
Organic bedding feels great
Users of organic bedding report it feels softer, smells better and promotes healthy sleep. Some individuals who have never slept through the night claim that after switching to organic bedding, they were able to sleep comfortably through the entire night. Most of these stories are anecdotal, but with so many reports, it seems to support the idea that somehow, conventional bedding can disrupt sleep. Perhaps it has to do with the chemical vapors that conventional bedding releases, or maybe it’s just that organic bedding breathes more, which reduces sticky night sweating. Whatever the reason, it’s definitely worth checking out to see if you sleep better on organic bedding.
Organic bedding is better for the environment
Conventionally grown cotton (or even worse, polyester) is a huge drain on the environment. As noted above, cotton is one of the most chemically treated crops in the world today, which is not only bad for you (as someone sleeping on chemically treated cotton), but it is also dangerous for the environment. Chemicals used on cotton leach into groundwater, persist in soils, kill nearby plants and damage wildlife. As these chemicals travel into lakes and streams, they affect fish and other aquatic wildlife, causing reproductive problems, chemical imbalances and more. When you choose organic bedding over conventional, you are making a statement that this kind of treatment of our environment is unacceptable. You are definitely making a difference in one of the most powerful ways our culture can be influenced: by choosing where your money goes.
You don’t have to switch bedding all at once. Next time you’re at a bedding store, pick up one set of organic sheets. From there, slowly replace all of the bedding in your home with organic. You may not notice a lot of difference at first, but over time, you will likely be much healthier.
—The Alternative Daily