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Discovery
Crib mattress dangers

NSF-funded researchers discover harmful chemicals in crib mattresses

researcher in a lab testing a mattress for chemicals
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NSF-funded researchers discover high levels of harmful chemicals in infant mattresses.
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April 9, 2014

Babies spend over 50 percent of their day sleeping.  The National Science Foundation (NSF) Nordic Research Opportunity-funded researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and VTT Technical Research Center of Finland have discovered that while infants sleep, they also breathe in high levels of chemicals released from crib mattresses.

The team analyzed the foam padding in 20 new and old crib mattresses and found they emit significant amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), potentially harmful chemicals also found in household cleaners and scented sprays.

The team hopes this research helps raise awareness about various chemicals that may be found in crib mattresses. They advise parents to air out mattresses and reduce infant exposure to harmful chemicals.

--  Dena Headlee, (703) 292-7739 dheadlee@nsf.gov

Investigators
Ying Xu
Brandon Boor
Robert Wolfkill

Related Institutions/Organizations
University of Texas at Austin

Related Awards
#1110007 Graduate Research Fellowship Program
#1150713 CAREER: Emission and Transport of PBDEs in Indoor Environments

Total Grants
$10,418,163

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