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Conventional vs Organic - What's the Difference When it Comes to Bedding?

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In my last post, I wrote about some of the reasons you should choose organic sheets and bedding for your home. This week we'll delve further into the differences between conventional bedding and organic bedding options. We know that organic sheets, comforters, duvet covers, pillow cases, mattress pads, etc, are better for our health because they don't have the chemicals that conventional bedding has. But what are those chemicals? Here are the top 3:



Formaldehyde is used as a wrinkle resistant in sheets. You also recognize it as a preservative for dead bodies.

According to the 13th Report on Carcinogens completed by the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services, 

Formaldehyde is known to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in humans and supporting data on mechanisms of carcinogenesis. Formaldehyde was first listed in the Second Annual Report on Carcinogens in 1981 as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence from studies in experimental animals. Since that time, additional cancer studies in humans have been published, and the listing status was changed to known to be a human carcinogen in the Twelfth Report on Carcinogens (2011).


Fire Retardants 

In the 1970s, highly flammable synthetic fibers were on the rise. In order to prevent fires, flame retardants became widely used in our furniture, bedding and other home items. 

An article from UC Berkeley's online News Center states:

Prenatal and childhood exposure to flame retardant compounds are linked to poorer attention, fine motor coordination and IQ in school-aged children, a finding by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health that adds to growing health concerns over a chemical prevalent in U.S. households.
UC Berkeley researchers link prenatal and childhood exposure to PBDE flame retardants, a prevalent chemical found in households, to deficits in motor and cognitive development among school-aged children.
The new study, published today (Thursday, Nov. 15) in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, focuses on PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, a class of persistent, endocrine-disrupting compounds widely found in foam furniture, electronics, carpets, upholstery and other consumer products. The chemicals easily leach out into the environment and are inhaled or ingested through dust, then accumulate in human fat cells.



Pesticides and insecticides are used on cotton to control weed growth and to prevent bugs from harming it. Cotton is considered one of the dirtiest crops due to the high use of these toxins - nearly 1/4 of of insecticide use worldwide is on cotton crops. This is especially bad for our children.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency

Children are at a greater risk for some pesticides for a number of reasons. Children's internal organs are still developing and maturing and their enzymatic, metabolic, and immune systems may provide less natural protection than those of an adult. There are "critical periods" in human development when exposure to a toxin can permanently alter the way an individual's biological system operates.

Adverse effects of pesticide exposure range from mild symptoms of dizziness and nausea to serious, long-term neurological, developmental and reproductive disorders.


As you can see, the chemicals found in our bedding are not proving to be very good for our health. That's why I started Natural Thread - to keep chemicals in our bedrooms to a minimum. A great way to begin healthier living is with these 100% organic cotton sheets!

In next week's blog, I'll talk about the allergies and health effects associated with the chemicals listed above. You might find you have some of the skin sensitivities or ailments I'll discuss, and you just might decide to give organic bedding, like this gorgeous duvet set, a try! Natural Thread - Organic Duvet Cover Set

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