Give It a Rest

picture of a mattressA mattress that’s better for you, your baby, or the environment? Sounds great, right? The problem is, it might not be true.

Three companies have agreed to settle FTC charges they claimed their memory foam or natural latex mattresses were free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and promoted unproven health and environmental “benefits.” VOCs, which are emitted as gases, can be bad for your health and the environment.

In each case, the companies — Essentia Natural Memory Foam Company, Ecobaby Organics, and Relief-Mart — did not properly test their mattresses to back up their claims. What’s more, Ecobaby claimed its mattresses were certified by the National Association of Organic Mattress Industry (NAOMI). They were — but NAOMI isn’t an independent certification body. It was founded and operated by Ecobaby itself.

So what can you do if you’re not sure about a company’s claims that its products are a good choice for your health and the environment?

  • See the science. Historically, memory foam mattresses have emitted VOCs. If a company claims its mattresses or other products are low-VOC or VOC-free, ask them to point you to reliable scientific tests that prove it. For more on VOCs in paint, read Before You Buy Paint.
  • Check out certifications. Seals or certifications can be useful, but only if they’re backed up by solid standards and give you enough information to understand what they mean. A package also should tell you about any connections the company has to the organization behind the seal, if that connection might influence your opinion about the certificate or seal.

For more, read Shopping “Green” at ftc.gov/green.

Tagged with: green, health, shopping
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

It seems that companies claim anything they wish to convince consumers is true of their products - whether true or not. Many companies hide the true ingredients/materials they use under scientific names most consumers can not even pronounce, much less identify. Food labeling is a good example, how do you know which can of corn you buy is from a 'regular' corn from one genetically modified by chemicals? There is no labeling requirement for this issue, and since the FDA hasn't done Long Term studies on the effects of genetically modified foods we the consumers are unaware of how these products will affect us and our families in the future. The same is true of any other product being marketed that has been 'modified' in some way to 'enhance' it's marketability with false claims of suitability. Corporations take advantage of any and all ways they can produce cheaper and sell higher to make their profits, without any protections to consumers. Although we have far too many laws on the books today that curb our rights and the information we receive from our government and it's agencies, it is a shame that there can not be trusted corporations in this country that are there to benefit the population rather than rape them through schemes that hide the true 'quality' of the products we are forced to purchase. Yes, forced, since there are no means to identify what products are in fact, what they claim to be. This country is being destroyed by greed.

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