(DGIwire) – Beds are among the dirtiest objects in people’s houses, reports Business Insider—a fact made more uncomfortable when it’s realized that people spend about a third of their lives sleeping in them. This means folks are rolling around in—and inhaling—an amalgamation of nasty substances. Dust—which can induce allergies and asthma—is just the start. Here are eight other substances that are potentially hiding in that mattress:
- Cosmetics: Lotions, creams, makeup and hair products can bleed from a person’s skin or hair into a mattress, reports BI.
- Fungal spores: Feather and synthetic bedding can contain between four and 17 different species of fungus, BI notes, including Penicillium, Alternaria cladosporium and Aspergillus. Fungi exacerbate asthma and allergies.
- Sweat: Humans produce up to 26 gallons of sweat in bed per year, says BI. This, along with body heat from sleeping, provides an ideal environment for fungi and bacteria to grow.
- Allergens: Any substance that causes an allergic reaction is considered an allergen, BI A bed contains dust mites and dead skin from cats, dogs and cockroaches, which significantly contribute to allergies and asthma.
- Food: Crumbs or liquid food spills can seep into a mattress, providing nutrition for bacteria and other microorganisms, according to BI.
- Bacteria: Skin, oral, intestinal/fecal and genital bacteria can sink into your mattress, says BI, including Staphylococcus, Lactabacillus and Streptococcu
- Skin cells: The human body sheds about 500 million skin cells per day, BI During sleep, these cells build up in a mattress over time and provide microbes with food to eat.
- Chemicals: Finishing agents from mattresses, bed sheets and other bed covers can include plasticizers, flame retardants and isocyanates, BI notes, which can be harmful to people’s health.
“Among the many substances found in bedding, certain halogenated chemicals may pose a danger to those in the household,” says Dirk van Hyning, CEO of Alexium International, a specialty chemicals manufacturer. “Fortunately, advances in chemistry hold the promise of future bedding products that promote fire protection without the attendant risk.”
Alexium develops next-generation flame retardants that balance fire protection with ecological safety. Its processes and products are intentionally designed to meet exacting requirements for safety and environmental sustainability, often exceeding industry standards. While its products feature an environmentally friendly mix of chemicals, they remain lightweight and durable. For example, one of its products, Alexiflam NF, is a reactive, halogen-free, phosphorus-based product that can stand up to 50+ washes and is specifically designed for cotton and cotton blends often found in products such as workwear, apparel and upholstery.
By having multiple platforms of ecofriendly polymeric flame retardant materials, Alexium can tailor a chemical formulation to meet almost any set of performance criteria and deliver a ready-to-use product to a customer’s door.
“As someone turns in to bed at night, harmful chemistry should be the last thing on their minds,” van Hyning adds. “We are working toward making this possible for a wide range of consumers.”