About Toxic Pillows 
Toxic Chemicals in Pillows
"Green Living," September 2, 2009
in Eco-Friendly

Pillows are often made of Styrofoam which contains polystyrene. This petroleum-based chemical has been known to cause symptoms of fatigue, difficulty sleeping, nervous disorders, menstrual cycle problems, alterations in blood cells, chromosome and lymphatic abnormalities and possibly has carcinogenic effects on humans.


It has been shown that in subjects tested for styrene, a full 100% were found to have styrene in their fat cells and they couldn’t find a single lactating mother who didn’t test positive for these chemicals in her breast milk.

In addition to polystyrene, pillows are known to contain polyurethane foam and polyethylene. These fillers are made by combining some very toxic chemicals to make polyfil, the major component of the pillows we use today.

Recent published information showed that the plastic bottles we are using for baby formula and drinking water are leaching chemicals out into the contents of the bottle. This raises the question as to whether these chemicals are also being released into the air surrounding our pillow and mattress while we sleep.

A company called Chem-Tox has done extensive studies on the effect that petroleum based products have on humans. The number of human ailments such as cancer, asthma, infertility, and neurological problems that have been tied to these chemicals is growing larger and larger. The alarming rise in autism over the last half century raises questions as to the link between these chemicals and this syndrome.
       We have got to get back to using natural products in our          homes.  Exposure to PBDEs is of concern as animal studies 
   suggest they may impact neurodevelopment. Human studies
   also reported links with testosterone and thyroid hormone 
   levels.  Our young  couples are finding it more and more 
   difficult to conceive.  These hazardous chemicals in pillows 
   and mattresses may be the reason.   
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Hidden Hazards In the Nursery, found toxic flame retardants in 85% (17 of 20) of new baby and children’s products tested, including bassinet pads, nursing pillows, changing pads, and car seats. The most prevalent flame retardant found was chlorinated Tris (TDCPP), a chemical voluntarily removed from children’s pajamas in the 1970s when it was found to cause adverse health effects. Chlorinated Tris was present in 80% of the products (16 of 20). California recently classified chlorinated Tris as a carcinogen, and evidence links the chemical to neurotoxicity as well as hormone disruption. 

It was based on testing they conducted (sample analysis done at Duke University) of foam in a number of baby products. They were looking for flame retardants which can pose health risks, particularly to babies, and it was found in pillows!

Florence Williams, 45, was inspired to write the book, Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, when she agreed to participate in a study of her breast milk when she was nursing her daughter. The results were startling -- her milk was full of chemicals, from pesticides to flame retardants...

"There were reports about toxic and chemical contaminants showing up in breast milk -- ..." she told ABCNews.com. She notes that in Europe chemicals must be proved safe before entering the marketplace. "We have the opposite and don't take them off the market until they are proven harmful," she said....

"Our bodies are intimately connected to the world around us," said Williams. 

(excerpts and text qtd by SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES, Good Morning America, May 7, 2012)

"Dear Friend:

We live in a time when it's impossible to escape dangerous chemicals. They're in our homes, our food, our soil, our water, and our air. They're so much a part of our lives that we think nothing of it.

It's high time we think about it a little more.

There are over 70,000 chemicals in use today and their cumulative effects on human health have never really been studied. In fact, very few of them have even been studied individually for safety. Should we be worried? You be the judge:

Today a newborn baby, just hours old, already has over 200 pesticides, industrial chemicals, and pollutants detectable in his blood.I
                 His/her parents have over 500 chemicals in their bodies.II
                 Pesticide residues are detectable in the urine of over 90% of 
                 people tested.III

Here's the important thing: All of this accumulated chemical exposure comes at a very high cost. While big chemical corporations insist their products are safe, scientific studies say otherwise. Cancer, neurological diseases like Parkinson's, ADHD, autoimmune conditions, fertility problems, and more - all have been linked to chemical exposures.

A quick question: Why would anyone in their right mind want to bring more chemicals into their home?" 

We need to begin in our homes with our buying choices.  What will we allow to be closest to the most precious people in our lives, and to secure our own health?  We, at USAlpaca are firmly rooted in trying to bring the healthiest products to you.  The one  thing that affects us most directly, every day, is our pillow. Our faces are in it, and we are breathing it all in for hours every night.  Rid the toxic pillows and the toxins that are directly poisoning you!  If you change one thing in your life-consciousness, change you pillow to one of our organic alpaca pillows, it will make a difference,  and know that you can sleep in a healthier home environment. It is one very important step for us all. 

Notes: Quoted excerpts from "Solutions from Science" May 21, 2012

  I http://www.ewg.org/reports/bodyburden2/execsumm.php

  II Rose, Tui, Going Green Using Diatomaceous Earth How-To Tips, Outskirts Press, Inc., c. 2010, p 103.

  III Rose, Tui, Going Green Using Diatomaceous Earth How-To Tips, Outskirts Press, Inc., c. 2010, p 103.

  IV Rose, Tui, Going Green Using Diatomaceous Earth How-To Tips, Outskirts Press, Inc., c. 2010, p 9.

  V http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/pesticides/general.html#_1_3

  VI http://www.beyondpesticides.org/infoservices/pesticidefactsheets/toxic/pyrethroid.htm

  VII http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/pesticides/

  VIII http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22525.cfm

  IX http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3076638/ns/health-your_environment/t/new-reasons-eating-organic/#.TzPvLyMhpcM

  X http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_20845.cfm

  XI http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22525.cfm

  XII http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22573.cfm

  XIII http://www.organicconsumers.org/foodsafety/fertility040504.cfm

  XIV http://www.michaeljfox.org/newsEvents_parkinsonsInTheNews_article.cfm?ID=126

  XV http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/pyrethroids-raise-concerns

  XVI http://www.aapcc.org, News Release 2010 Annual Report (PDF)

   Why use U.S. Organic Cotton?

Other countries have laxed certificatations, they may or may not have the same standards as the U.S., and why use Organic anyway?  In countries like China and India the use of toxic chemicals sprayed on cotton is exorbanant to say the least.  And because the pests become immune to them, the level of toxic pesticides continually goes up and up over time, to the point, that in some cases, the farmers can no longer afford to stay in business.  Some of this has to do with shady business practices as well, where farmers are forced to buy their seed only if they buy these chemicals from the same company.  The end result: the land is poisoned, and so is the product. 

"Forgive me for once again stating the obvious: but chemical pesticides really are toxic. And to add insult to injury, they only work about 65% of the time. It goes downhill from there because over time, bugs develop a resistance to chemical pesticides so that you have to use more and more to get the same effect… or switch to a different, equally dangerous chemical.

Most common home-and-garden pesticides work by attacking the insect's nervous system, disrupting nerve impulse transmission and causing paralysis.V And unfortunately, many of those pesticides stick around in the soil for a long, long time.VI They can accumulate in fatty tissues of mammals VII and can wreak havoc on your health.

Chemical pesticides are, plain and simple, poison. Almost any exposure at all, even a small amount, can be harmful, but early exposures (by unborn or very young children) and repeated exposures (to anyone) are especially harmful. Here are just a few of their documented effects:

  One common class of pesticides, organophosphates, can affect the cognitive development of children if they are exposed in the womb. VIII

  Children who are exposed to high levels of this pesticide are also at higher risk for bone and brain cancers and childhood leukemia. IX

  Common pesticides used on produce are linked to ADHD in children. X

  Unborn babies exposed to permethrin, a pesticide, are at higher risk of learning problems. XI

  30 different pesticides act as endocrine disruptors and interfere with male hormones. XII

  Pesticides impact male fertility XIII and increase the risk of Parkinson's disease.XIV

  In animal studies… pyrethroids, a class of pesticides, are linked to thyroid, liver, and nervous system damage, immune problems, and impaired fertility hormones. XV

The long-term effects of pesticide exposure can take years to show up. But in the short term, they're even more of a threat. Every year, U.S. poison control centers respond to over 2 million poisoning incidents. Most of these occur in the home and involve household chemicals. Children younger than age six account for half of all incidents. XVI"

We need to be aware of these factors and begin our pathway back to natural products. Our pillows and products are one of the ways you can make a great impact on your family, and your own healthy home environment. By supporting those businesses, as we do,  who are doing it right, as we are,  we allow them to stay in business. The choices we make will allow us these choices in the future. By not supporting those businesses we encourage the plight of organic, and become slaves to the chemical companies toxic products, encourage foreign cheap and inhumane labor practices, which destroy our own economy, and encourage the destructive outcome of our health and well-being.

We need to get back to natural!

Note: The portion of quoted text is from "Solutions from Science." See side article for sources.