The primary components of flame retardants in your mattress are endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The name alone is enough cause for worry, but the truth is that EDCs affect your health far more than you realize. At BioPosture, we make it possible for you to get your mattress without flame retardants. But we want you to know how EDCs in flame retardants affect you and your family, so that you can make an informed choice.
We’ve talked at length about the dangers of flame retardants. But how exactly do the endocrine-disrupting chemicals in them affect your health? Let’s find out.
EDCs Affect Growth and Development
Hormones direct your body toward healthy development and growth. Throughout your life, your body circulates precise amounts of hormones depending on your needs at the time. The landmark 2015 report from the Endocrine Society states:
“As a whole, the endocrine system is one of the body’s major interfaces with the environment, allowing for development, adaptation and maintenance of bodily processes and health. In other words, they play key roles in determining the quality of life, and many hormones are absolutely essential for survival.”
Scientists have linked common EDCs used in flame retardants (like polybrominated diphenyl ethers) to many neurological issues. Exposure can affect concentration, fine motor skills, and early cognition. All of these functions are essential to healthy growth and development. Children are at a much higher risk due to the presence of flame retardants in baby products, furniture, and mattresses.
EDCs Increase the Risk of Obesity and Diabetes
Your body’s metabolism is directly related to your hormones. When the normal function of the endocrine system is disrupted, your body has trouble controlling your appetite and using and producing energy. We’re not just talking about gaining a little weight. EDCs can permanently affect the health of your metabolism on a cellular level.
Two primary EDCs play a large role in the development of obesity and diabetes. Obesogens interfere with normal lipid metabolism, which is what helps your body to synthesize fats. With healthy lipid metabolism, your body can more easily break down and store the fat it receives. If obesogens interfere, your body experiences difficulty metabolizing fats. Likewise, diabetogens destroy or impede beta-cell metabolism. This means that the body has trouble metabolizing energy, which leads to diabetes.
EDCs Affect Your Reproductive System Negatively
It’s no surprise that a healthy reproductive system requires hormones like estrogen and testosterone. However, when EDCs enter the picture, they cause everything from reproductive tract deformations to rare cancers. They also inhibit the production of viable eggs and sperm, so they are significant culprits when it comes to infertility.
EDCs Are Linked to Cancer
Two-thirds of all cancers link to environmental factors. Thus, it should be no surprise that EDCs also link to cancer. The primary cancers that EDCs contribute to are endocrine-related. These include ovarian, prostate, uterine, and breast cancer. However, because EDCs block or mimic almost every hormone in your body, your risk is not limited to reproductive cancers.
So now that you know how endocrine-disrupting chemicals can affect your health, what can you do with this information?
Educate yourself further, and ask your doctor about the most common household sources of EDCs. And finally, get a Medical Letter of Necessity from your chiropractor, doctor, or orthopedic professional to have your BioPosture mattress made completely free of flame retardants.