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  • Feature Story

University of Texas Study Finds Crib Mattresses Emit Potentially Harmful Substances

April 22, 2014

A recent study by environmental engineers at the University of Texas at Austin found that infants are exposed to high levels of chemical emissions from crib mattresses while they sleep.

Analyzing the foam padding in crib mattresses, the team found that the mattresses release significant amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), potentially harmful chemicals also found in household items such as cleaners and scented sprays.

The researchers found:

  • New crib mattresses release about four times as many VOCs as old crib mattresses
  • Body heat increases emissions
  • Chemical emissions are strongest in the sleeping infant’s immediate breathing zone

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Nordic Research Opportunity program.