Free Ebook Download: Sleep Safe in a Toxic World

Whether you’re interested in a cleaner environment or improved health for you and your family, Sleep Safe in a Toxic World by Lifekind® co-founder Walt Bader is essential reading for a good night’s sleep. Learn why beds are one of the single most overlooked causes of chemical exposure. Download your FREE copy today:
Sleep Safe in a Toxic World - Walter Bader
Click to download a free copy of Sleep Safe in a Toxic World: Your guide to identifying and removing hidden toxins from your bedroom

 

Where the Natural Rubber Meets the Road

At Lifekind, many of the products we make contain natural rubber, which can be confusing for some who haven’t tried it. 
 
“Do you use the same kind of rubber that’s in tires?” callers ask. “Is my bed going to smell like a tire store? What’s it made from, exactly?”
 

Tires

While car tires and natural-rubber mattresses have their main ingredient — natural-rubber sap — in common, the similarities pretty much end there. Car tires have a slew of toxic substances added, such as styrene-butadiene co-polymers, oils, halogen, “accelerators,” “antiozonants” and carbon black, a delightful material made from the partial burning of coal tar and other “heavy” petroleum products to make a black, ashy powder. (The International Agency for Research on Cancer has labeled carbon black a “possible human carcinogen,” and it’s a powerful respiratory irritant. Definitely not something you’d want to sleep on!)
 Rubber_Tree_proof
In contrast, 100%-natural rubber foam is a springy, resilient, off-white material that contains about 98% rubber-tree sap in its final form. The remaining 2% is made of non-harmful materials such zinc oxide, sulfur, sodium, and fatty acids – quite a difference. (And it smells nothing like a tire store!) It’s the top choice for organic mattress materials right now, and its popularity is growing. 
We’re always happy to send a sample to anybody who would like to check it out — just ask. We think you’ll like it!

RUBBER TREES ARE NOT BOUNCY

Rubber trees are not bouncy. I know; I was disappointed to find this out as well. As a child growing up on the philosophies of Dr. Seuss, I assumed that rubber trees grew in giant, jungle gym forests just outside of Whoville. They don’t, for the record, and if you ever find yourself in a rubber tree forest, trying to bounce from tree to tree is not advisable.

Rubber_Tree_proof

Rubber trees actually grow on large plantations, mostly in warm, tropical climates in countries like Malaysia and South Africa. Natural rubber is a sap, and is tapped from the tree much like maple syrup. It’s very sustainable; one tree can be tapped for 40 years without harming the growth of the tree. As a person who always casts her vote for sustainability, I am obviously all for this type of production, and loving the fact that natural rubber is rising rapidly in demand. As a person who works in an industry dependent on natural rubber, I am not so thrilled to find that demand is rising faster than production. This combination always seems to end in price increases.

With more demand from other industries looking for a natural alternative to synthetic rubber in their products, natural rubber is the “it-girl” of the latex industry. Factor in rising demand from rapidly developing countries such as China, and natural rubber is becoming more and more sought after. Unfortunately, unlike synthetic substances, we have to wait years for a rubber tree to mature before it is able to produce sap that can be used to make products.

And so this story ends with higher mattress prices. The cost of natural rubber went up 20% in just the past year, and unfortunately we can’t absorb that much of a price increase and still stay in business, although we wish we could. However, when put into perspective, a Lifekind organic mattress will last at least 20 years…which is 7,305 nights (including leap years)…which is 58,440 hours of restful, organic sleep. That’s a lot of sleep for your buck.

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