As I have gotten older I have noticed my sensitivity to chemicals increasing significantly. It’s like I have some special animal-ability to now smell things I never could just a few years ago. The first occurrence where I really noticed a difference was when we decided to update our bed. We bought a nice mattress from Costco and within hours of taking it out of the plastic and plopping it down in our room, my eyes were watering like I had been cutting onions! We opened all the windows and that night I did the best I could to sleep, but by morning my eyes still hurt and I had a splitting headache.
So I did a little online research and learned that mattresses these days contain all sorts of fire retardant chemicals, the most dangerous being polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDE’s for short. Even the name sounds bad! And as it turns out, it’s not just mattresses that contain these things. Furniture, rugs, textiles, electronics and other consumer goods are manufactured using PBDE’s. The most damning evidence for these buggers comes from Janine LaSalle at the MIND Institute at the U. of California, Davis, who believes PBDEs contribute to undermethylated DNA potentially associated with autism.
As a family it scares me that we are living in a cesspool of chemicals we very know little about. We took the mattress back and bought a solid latex foam mattress locally from Mulligan Mattress and got one for our son. While my werewolf sense of smell still detects strange odors in the house, we are all sleeping a little better knowing that our heads are lying on all natural latex with absolutely no smell.