Prescription Mattresses?

Posted July 24th, 2014 by Nanette Heffernan. Comment (0).

toxic matressesWhen my son entered middle school he was 5’6” and wore a size twelve shoe. He’d grown out of his bed, and needed a desk for the pending workload. It was time for some new furniture, but his room is tiny so we opted for a futon to maximize space and give him room to grow.

I was delighted to discover the futon store offered a chemical free mattress. “No problem,” the sales man said. “Just bring me a prescription from your doctor.” I couldn’t believe it. I needed a prescription to protect my son from cancer causing fire retardants.

I ordered the futon and mattress and told the gentleman I’d bring the doctor’s note later that week. Unfortunately, our pediatrician, who’d always trusted me to know what was best for my kids, including no flu shots, wouldn’t write the letter.

“Don’t you know those fire-retardant laws were passed in the 70’s; in an era when tons of people still smoked and were known to fall asleep with a cigarette in their hand?” He wouldn’t budge, so I persisted. “Have you read about the cancer clusters among fire fighters, believed to be caused from entering burning homes filled with toxic, chemical laden smoke?” Yet, he stood firm that the risk of escaping a fire outweighed the danger of developing cancer from breathing fire retardants eight to ten hours a night. Now I was angry. “There has been no proof fire retardants save lives! It’s a myth the chemical companies have promoted to protect their profits, not their customers.” I hung up the phone, wondering if I needed a new pediatrician, and determined to get around this antiquated law.

Two days later the futon and chemical free mattress showed up. The deliveryman didn’t ask about our prescription and I didn’t offer. To this day, nobody from the company has called, but if they do I’ll be sure to tell them, “Yeah, I’m working on it,” because, I’m certain, in the name of profit, they won’t take the mattress back.


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