Are Bamboo Pillows Toxic?
Products made from bamboo fibers are becoming more and more popular. As with all new materials, there are still some questions consumers have about the way they have been produced and how safe they are to use. So, are bamboo pillows toxic? In this article we will look at the production process and what the final product is like.
What are Bamboo Pillows?
Bamboo pillows are made by using bamboo fibers in the production of a pillowcase, which is stuffed with shredded memory foam. The foam provides the firmness, and the bamboo helps regulate the temperature, has antimicrobial properties, is great at moisture wicking, and feel really smooth against the skin.
How Environmentally Friendly are Bamboo Pillows?
Bamboo itself is a sustainable crop and doesn’t involve intensive farming processes like cotton does. It grows pretty much anywhere, is drought resistant, and doesn’t require pesticides or nasty chemicals. When harvested the bamboo is a natural and clean product.
The problem, though, is the process of turning the bamboo plant into soft fibers for fabrics. Depending on individual manufacturers, this can involve some highly toxic chemicals. The bark is turned into a product called rayon, and the most common way of doing this is by spinning the fibers with carbon disulfide.
At least half of the quantity of this nasty stuff is released into the environment, meaning bamboo products are not necessarily as eco-friendly as they may initially seem. Of course the chemicals are cleaned out of the resulting materials, so they won’t be present in any pillow you buy.
How Safe are Bamboo Pillows?
One thing that may concern customers on their first purchase of a bamboo pillow is the smell you get when you first open the vacuum packed bag. There’s a clear chemical odor, and it’s not advisable to use the pillow when this is still present because it can cause headaches and an unpleasant feeling. This smell goes away fairly soon after being opened though, but if it’s present, does that mean there are toxic dangers with the pillows?
The answer is that the cause is related to the memory foam used in the stuffing rather than the bamboo casing, and it’s usual for products that contain the foam to give off odors when you first get them. There have been a number of studies into the toxicity of foam, but there is no evidence to suggest it is dangerous to humans. If it is a concern to you, then it’s worth finding a product that uses a different material for the stuffing.
The bamboo casing, on the other hand, doesn’t contain any of the chemicals that were used in the manufacturing process and, as a natural material, is not toxic at all. It’s also hypoallergenic, so it is a good choice for people who struggle with allergies and aren’t able to use products that have been made with other materials.
The Final Word
So, are bamboo pillows toxic? If you’re still worrying about this question, there’s no need to be concerned any longer; they are naturally produced and safe to have around the home. They are a great product for allergy sufferers and those who are looking for a more comfortable pillow.
Are you using bamboo pillows? Please leave any comments or questions you have below.