A Place To Rest Your Head - Is Your (And Your Pet's) Pillow Safe

"Anything you can do to reduce your body's total load will help promote wellness. One of the easiest things to do is rest your head on a toxic-free cotton pillow. Why am I picking on your pillow? The reason is that if you use a foam pillow, you are breathing the chemicals released from foam, including toluene diisocyanate and formaldehyde, which can cause allergic reactions and initiate cancer.

"Are you resting your head every night in toxic pesticides? This could well be the case if you use a goose down pillow. The oils that hold the down together are also a source of chemicals.

"You don't want to stick your face into the new antimocrobial pillows either. These pillows continually release a chemical bath of polyester, acetate and antimicrobial compounds such as Microbian or Allerban right under your nose.

"Invest in your health and reduce the load on your body's detox system by replacing your chemical-laden pillow. . .One of the best sources for cotton pillows I've found is KB Cotton Pillows, Inc."

Also, the KB 100% cotton pillow is the only 100% cotton pillow to receive the "nontoxic" and "natural" ratings in Debra Lynn Dadd's book,Nontoxic, Natural, and Earthwise

In the recent issue of Natural Health magazine, Tina Spangler wrote an article called "Is Your Bedroom Making You Sick?" which is excerpted below.

"You'd probably like to think you're safe and sound when snuggling under the covers in bed. A firm mattress, clean sheets, and a comfy pillow and you're all set for eight hours of rest and relaxation for body and mind, right? Wrong.

"From memory loss to headaches, depressions to itchy eyes, an array of health problems can arise from exposure to seemingly innocent bedroom objects. Most mattresses and pillows, for example, are filled with chemical-drenched synthetic fibers such as polyurethane foam that release chemicals into the air for years; these airborne toxins can cause headaches and nausea, and even lead to multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), a condition that stems from exposure to toxic chemicals and results in a myriad of crippling symptoms. Microscopic dust mites (and their allergenic fecal matter) frequently infest mattresses, pillows, and carpeting, leading to respiratory problems including coughing and sinus congestion. And electromagnetic fields, or EMFs, which can be emitted from your alarm clock, have been linked to cancer.

"Fortunately, making your bedroom a safer and more restful environment does not require a dramatic overhaul. It just involves recognizing danger zones so you can naturalize and improve your bedroom, bit by bit.

"You spend a third of your life -- that's twenty-five years--in bed, sleeping with pillowcases pressed against your nose and mouth, and sheets rubbing your skin. With such intimate contact, you should choose your bed linens with great care.

"Polyester percale sheets (and blankets) are actually just soft thermoplastic, which is made from petrochemicals. The least comfortable and most harmful bed linens you can buy are polyester "no-iron" sheets. Not only are they made from petrochemicals, but they are treated with a formaldehyde resin finish. Cotton/polyester-blend, wrinkle-resistant sheets are also treated with formaldehyde.

"Combed-cotton percale sheets, with at least two hundred threads per square inch, have the tightest weave and the softest, smoothest texture. Don't be fooled by the percale all-cotton sheets labeled "easy care" or "no-iron," which are treated with formaldehyde. Instead look for natural sheets made from unbleached cotton.

"Always wash bed linens (even all-cotton ones) before using them the first time. To avoid wrinkles, hang them outdoors in the fresh air, or put them in the dryer and then remove as soon as they're dry.

"Mattresses and pillows may be the biggest bedroom healt offenders because most of them are stuffed with polyurethane foam--which can cause respiratory problems as well as skin and eye irritation--and because they harbor dust mites. Dust mites, found in all homes, are tiny insects whose fecal matter causes allergic reactions in five hundred million people around the world, according to Deborah Parrish, founder and president of Priorities, a mail-order catalog with products for allergy relief, in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The mattress foam also releases toluene diisocyanate, a chemical that can cause severe lung problems. The highest concentrations of these hazardous chemicals are emitted in the first few years of the mattress's life.

"Chances are when you visit a department store to buy a new pillow or mattress, you'll hava a tough time finding anything other than polyester or foam-filled varieties.

"Pillows are like mini-mattresses that your face presses against for hours and hours, night after night. Cotton-filled pillows are the recommended alternatives to chemical-drenched polyester foam."

As you can see, nowhere is it more important for the ill or allergic person to build a clean environment than in the bedroom. Eight to 10 hours out of every 24 hours are spent in the bedroom with your nose in close contact with your pillow. This is an area where a great reduction in the stress load on the body can be accomplished by eliminating all synthetics from the bedroom and using only cotton pillows, sheets, drapes and spreads.

Back to blog