Back to your quest: A number of people looking for less-toxic but still inexpensive mattresses, especially in Canada, buy ones from IKEA's Sultan line of products. It is my understanding that IKEA prohibits the use of brominated flame retardants in all their furniture and mattresses. (This doesn't mean no flame retardants, just not brominated ones which is what you're probably looking to avoid.) In the United States (and, apparently, in the U.K.) there are laws requiring flame retardants in mattresses (and other upholstered furniture), so in these countries IKEA must comply.
As there are no standard labels on mattresses listing flame retardant chemicals, this information isn't easy to double check. It's not even readily available on IKEA's website. That said, if you call or email their customer service, they get back to you with this information directly. (I recently emailed them about glues in their particleboard and they got back to me in less than 4 hours).
You're not alone in your search. Several people are having this IKEA mattress discussion over at Debra Lynn Dadd's excellent site, www.dld123.com. A few of her readers have posted emails they received from IKEA on this subject. Here's one:
This email goes on to report that IKEA's permitted VOC emissions are based on (strict) German guidelines, arlyamines are banned, and phthalate plasticizers are banned from their mattress-foams. In addition, their mattress covering textiles are biocide-free (pentachlorophenol a.k.a. PCP, lindane, and tinorganic/organotin compounds are banned), and there are limits on formaldehyde.
"IKEA International made a voluntary decision to abstain from the use of brominated flame retardants and antimony-compounds in 1998. The phase-out of these chemicals was completed in 2002. Today, all textiles, mattresses and upholstered furniture sold by IKEA stores world-wide are free of PBDE and antimony compounds. In Canada, the SULTAN mattress series has not been treated with flame retardants. Only mattresses sold in countries where there is strict fire legislation, at this time, the United States and the United Kingdom, have been treated with organic phosphor or nitrogen-based flame retardants. In countries without fire safety regulations, IKEA's requirements are based on the Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish standards. IKEA ensures that these standards are met by choosing the right material for the product, by the design of the product, by good production control and by product testing."
Makes you want to run right out and get one, right? Not so fast.Read on: Key Questions Around Fire Suppression and Boric Acid
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