I have recently purchased a memory foam pillow and in two days i ve experienced breathing problems and stomach problems and eyes irritation due to the harsh toxins in it and I returned the memory foam. But, The memory foam has touched the walls next to the bed and the plywood on the bed. Because of which i m unable to use the plywood which is still causing the harsh effects of the memory foam pillow whenever i m spending time on it. I recently bought another plywood it picked the same toxins ( may be from the wall) and i m again facing the same problem. Need suggestion for a way to clean these chemicals away from plywood and wall ?

  • $\begingroup$ Write the manufacturer... or better, have your solicitor drop them a note. Start politely, and if you do not get satisfactory response, you can also go to social media. $\endgroup$ – DrMoishe Pippik Feb 14 '20 at 4:32
  • $\begingroup$ it is not smells. I m guessing it is fumes of chemicals which are persisting. $\endgroup$ – web-master-now Feb 14 '20 at 12:01

I would suggest that perhaps it wasn't the pillow but another issue altogether.

If in two days your pillow outgassed enough to saturate the wall and the plywood, a couple days should also be sufficient for those to also release any trapped gasses. As I doubt they have any properties better at trapping gases than the foam in your former pillow.

Just a couple thoughts:

Do you have a carbon monoxide monitor in your home? A faulty furnace or water heater could be causing some of your problems.

Have you opened a window to provide better airflow?

Have you febreezed the area? The active ingredient in febreeze, cyclodextrin, does trap unwanted chemicals and gasses.

Or another chemical trap, is activated charcoal.

  • $\begingroup$ I have given airflow for many days. a month after the first plywood is outgassing and i got rid of it i purchased a new plywood and placed it. The new plywood started outgassing in 2 days. There is a cardboard box also next to the bed it was there when i got the pillow. I even use a quality air purifier ( which is supposed to absord harmful chemicals too ) all night that is also not helpful. $\endgroup$ – web-master-now Feb 14 '20 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ Actually the issue was caused just in 2 days after i bought a memory foam pillow. and when i removed the plywood from the room the air is normal but when i bring it back into room in 2 days the room is full of harsh chemicals in air. When i brought new plywood it also got the same chemicals on it. $\endgroup$ – web-master-now Feb 14 '20 at 13:18

Thanks for this question, as poor quality memory foam mattresses likely pose a significant health risk in certain locale.

Per Wikipedia on associated hazards of memory foam, to quote:

Emissions from memory foam mattresses may directly cause more respiratory irritation than other mattresses. Memory foam, like other polyurethane products, can be combustible.[9] Laws in several jurisdictions have been enacted to require that all bedding, including memory foam items, be resistant to ignition from an open flame such as a candle or cigarette lighter. US bedding laws that went into effect in 2010 change the Cal-117 Bulletin for FR testing.[10]

There is concern that high levels of the fire retardant PBDE, commonly used in memory foam, could cause health problems for users.[11] PBDEs are no longer used in most bedding foams, especially in the European Union.

Manufacturers caution about leaving babies and small children unattended on memory foam mattresses, as they may find it difficult to turn over, and may suffocate.[7]

The United States Environmental Protection Agency published two documents proposing National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP) concerning hazardous emissions produced during the making of flexible polyurethane foam products.[12] The HAP emissions associated with polyurethane foam production include methylene chloride, toluene diisocyanate, methyl chloroform, methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, propylene oxide, diethanolamine, methyl ethyl ketone, methanol, and toluene. However, not all chemical emissions associated with the production of these material have been classified. Methylene chloride makes up over 98 percent of the total HAP emissions from this industry. Short-term exposure to high concentrations of methylene chloride also irritates the nose and throat. The effects of chronic (long-term) exposure to methylene chloride in humans involve the central nervous system, and include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and memory loss. Animal studies indicate that inhalation of methylene chloride affects the liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system. Developmental or reproductive effects of methylene chloride have not been reported in humans, but limited animal studies have reported lowered fetal body weights in rats exposed.[13]

Here also is a rather condemning depiction of possible issues per an organic competing company (which provides source links), to quote in part:

Toxic chemicals in memory foam So what are those “additional chemicals”? What do we know about memory foam?

  1. There have been legal consequences for memory foam companies which claimed their products are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  2. Some memory foam mattresses contain toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, and naphthalene.
  3. Memory foam may contain isocyanates, which, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Exposure to isocyanates can also lead to chest tightness and asthma.

Polyurethane: flame retardants, off-gassing, and safety Memory foam mattresses often contain chemical flame retardants which have been linked to a litany of health problems, including developmental brain disorders, cancer, and obesity. Organic wool, however, is a soft, natural material that not only can allow a mattress to pass the mandated flame test but adds a layer of airy cushioning to the top of your mattress.

It’s not uncommon to notice a chemical off-gassing smell upon unpacking a memory foam mattress. The best way to get rid of the odor is to allow the mattress to air out by moving air through the room. This can be done by opening doors and windows and running a fan.

Memory Foam Health Risks So what’s the risk? The risk is the unknown. We can’t positively say a memory foam mattress will cause “this effect.” Every person is different. Every mattress is different. Some memory foam mattress users complain of waking with headaches. Others develop respiratory issues such as asthma. Still, others have concerns about the long-term health effects of years of nightly exposure to this material.

If one decides to employ a cheap version of a memory foam product, against likely good advice, I would advise allowing for a lengthy period of aeration on say a porch.

To clean up contaminated areas, I would recommend first creating some aqueous zinc acetate from the action of H2O2 (now sold in stores in large bottles for laundry purposes) plus vinegar plus NaCl plus a piece of graphite on a piece zinc metal. Jumpstart the electrochemical reaction in a microwave for a minute. Let stand for a few hours and add water to dilute.

Next step, apply a mix of H2O2 plus Washing Soda (Na2CO3) to the target areas.

Finally, while wet, spray on a mix of vinegar plus the aqueous zinc acetate.

The basis for this recipe, see "Development of Bicarbonate-Activated Peroxide as a Chemical and Biological Warfare Agent Decontaminant".

  • $\begingroup$ is there an option to buy aqueous zinc acetate online readily ? $\endgroup$ – web-master-now Feb 14 '20 at 23:26

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