I received this little titbit from one of the health news enewsletters I subscribe to: "Beware of memory foam mattresses. They offgas some chemicals that have me seriously concerned. I once tried a memory foam mattress and nearly passed out the next day while working out in the gym. I immediately returned the mattress for a refund and swore I'd never sleep on memory foam again.

The only safe "foam" mattresses that I recommend are made from natural latex rubber (which comes from trees, by the way)." NaturalNews As a long term sufferer of sensitivity to foam rubber I endorse this absolutely and also feel that standard foam rubber can be harmful to a lot of people. I was first able to pinpoint my sensitivity to foam rubber when I was camping in Canada. I was sleeping on a foam rubber mat and when I awoke, despite being in a tent outside by a gorgeous lake, my eyes were puffed up and I felt very depressed. After that I was having problems struggling to stay awake during the day and eventually traced the problem to the foam rubber underlay under the carpet throughout the downstairs of our house. We removed the underlay and left the wool carpet and the problem disappeared.  Now, many years later, it has become a joke in the family that I always fall asleep in the theatre and the cinema - again foam rubber in the seating.

At The Healthy House, I sit on a wooden chair which is free of both foam rubber and the fire retardants found in all modern office chairs. At home we have no foam rubber in the house. One of the major problems with foam rubber is that instead of it improving as it ages, it actually offgasses more as the foam rubber breaks down and the surface area of the offgassing increases. If you sleep on a foam rubber mattress or a memory foam mattress and have symptoms you cannot trace to other things be aware that they could well stem from the foam rubber. If you do not have any symptoms, its a good idea to be aware that these products do offgass chemicals into the air and being so close to them while you sleep, you will be breathing them in all night. Foam rubber is a synthetic material whilst natural latex rubber is a natural product that most people tolerate very well. Some people do have a very serious allergy to natural latex, but if you don't, it's a perfect solution for a mattress, sofa and pillows! Always make sure that it is organic latex and has had no chemical treatment applied.