Are you bothered by strong candles or perfume smells? What about cleaning supplies or exhaust fumes? Do you know those chemicals can affect your health even if you don’t smell them?
Something as simple as sitting near a person in a restaurant who has strong-smelling deodorant can give someone with chemical sensitivity reactions like burning eyes, sinus irritation, difficulty breathing, nausea—the list goes on!
Even sleeping on a “regular” chemically treated pillow and mattress can set off a host of unwanted reactions. Many people struggle with chemical sensitivities that can make everyday tasks and outings miserable.
How do I know if I have a chemical sensitivity?
There are various ways to medically test for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). But for most people who have it, their body’s response makes diagnosing it pretty easy.
When a person with MCS comes into contact with any type of chemical—pesticides, detergents, air fresheners, candles, beauty products, fumes from vehicles or appliances, soaps—they can either have an immediate reaction or it can be delayed.
Delayed reactions can be more difficult to trace back to a specific cause, but here are some symptoms to watch for:
- Coughing or difficulty breathing
- Chronic sinus problems
- Joint pain
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Burning throat and/or eyes
- Changes in vision
- Short-term memory loss
- Irregular heartbeat
- Mood swings or major behavioral changes
These symptoms can be connected to many different things, so you’ll have to talk to a doctor or allergist to try to find the root cause.
What can I do to help alleviate chemical sensitivities?
If you can pinpoint specific chemicals that bother you, you can often change products or avoid certain places/situations. Trying to avoid them should help alleviate some of your symptoms.
But something that many people don’t think about is changing what they sleep on.
Traditional mattresses and pillows have some of the most irritating and harsh chemicals in them that can make us miserable while we sleep. Not only that, but our bodies attempt to detox from chemical exposure while we sleep. So when you sleep on something loaded with chemicals, your body can have a difficult time keeping up.
If it’s unable to keep up, you might get sick.
What type of pillow won’t aggravate my chemical sensitivities?
In our view, the best and cleanest material to sleep on is an all-natural hypoallergenic wool pillow. The “natural” part is especially important because then you can rest assured that it hasn’t been sprayed or filled with a bunch of chemicals.
Most cotton is sprayed with pesticides while it’s being grown, and many pillows are made with toxic things like synthetic latex and polyurethane foam.
Most bedding is treated so you don’t smell the chemicals, but that doesn’t mean they don’t affect you!
Despite what you may think, chemicals can cause adverse effects even when you are unable to smell them. It can be hard to find whether or not a pillow has been chemically treated by simply giving them a sniff. Most commercial pillows and mattresses are treated with one or all of these 4 chemicals:
- Polyurethane: Polyurethane is made using 2 toxic ingredients: propylene oxide and TDI (Toluene Diisocyanate). Both of these have been found by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to be cancer-causing.
- Vinyl: Vinyl is also very toxic. Vinyl is made from phthalates and metal, both of which have serious health consequences.
- Synthetic Latex: It has also been proven to cause cancer and other health issues such as depression, headaches, and hearing loss. Just like polyurethane foam mattresses, synthetic latex is a cheap product to make so that’s why it’s widely used.
- Flame Retardants: Common flame retardants used in traditional mattresses are called halogenated flame retardants (HFRs). These include chemicals like bromine, chlorine, iodine, and fluorine. Some states have banned HFRs because they’ve been shown to cause cancer, thyroid problems, and stunt reproductive development.
Improve Your Sleep with Cuddle Ewe
Cuddle Ewe uses only the best—100% EcoWool and GOTS certified organic wool with no chemicals or synthetic materials. Our organic and local EcoWool pillows are handmade to make sure you’re getting a high-quality product. Choose from a variety of sizes and thicknesses to fit your sleeping style and comfort to ensure you’re sleeping naturally.