Since there have been other threads about allergies to latex, I'll get right to the point. I've tested nonreactive to latex in allergy panels, and never had any problems in any of the stores when I was shopping, such as Savvy Rest. So when it came time to buy, we bought a non-returnable 100% natural rubber latex foam bed at the nearest dealer -- a store about 2 hours away. It has an organic cotton and wool cover, and was rather pricey, but certainly competitive with internet prices for similar products. I rate it high for comfort.
However, as soon as the bed came into the house in late October I started getting sick. By early November, I got a cold/sinus infection that lasted nearly 2 months. My doctor thought the problem could be mold, and after checking that out thoroughly with numerous medical expenses, I gave away porous possessions, threw out papers and books, etc. and started to improve. But every morning I awakened with a sinus headache and congestion. I wasn't willing to throw out the bed, as my house had never had a major mold problem (just a few spots in the basement) and the bed was new. So we did the following experiment.
After determining that I could sleep without symptoms on some 1970's foam cushions on the kitchen floor, last night we took the latex pads out of the cover and put them on the kitchen floor underneath a clean cotton sleep. I woke up significantly worse than I've ever been.
My husband, who is not chemically sensitive, said that the latex foam had a strong odor when he took it out on the porch to air it in the sun.
So, if natrual rubber latex is supposed to be
what am I reacting to?
Any way I could find out whether it is some kind of preservative or chemical used in the processing, or some contaminant from storage in the warehouse?
Just in case I developed a latex allergy from continuous exposure for the last 8 months, I was retested today with RAST for IgG and IgM reactions to latex.
Meanwhile, is there any market for a very clean, slightly used natural rubber latex bed and if so, how would I find it? Or do you think I could make a case for returning the bed?
I was diagnosed with MCS in the late 1980's. My new ORGANIC NATURAL RUBBER LATEX mattress is off-gassing a sweet vanilla smell that is pungent and definitely not the "mild" smell some people have called it.
I do believe anyone bothered by this smell has a case for returning the mattress and getting a full refund. The reading and research I've done since I received the new mattress convinces me there is no kind of natural rubber latex mattress on the market that a person with MCS should seriously consider buying because the non-organic ones use toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process of the latex itself: and the organic ones are so pungent that I am convinced some kind of air-exchange off-gassing is occurring, even though the maker of the mattress assures everyone it is "non-toxic". I believe the day will come when someone will identify just what that gas in the air is that we call "off-gassing" of the organic latex.
I so appreciate hearing what people are having to say on this subject. And I suspect the mattress makers, or the "organic" latex industry itself, are not telling the whole truth about organic natural rubber latex and its safety. It is my opinion that all such factories and retailers should have some kind of notice to people who are chemically sensitive to possibly consider not choosing the organic natural rubber latex.
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