Off-Gassing and Adult Beds


Offgassing – VOC’s versus Toxic Nerve Gases:

You may be thinking that offgassing is the cause of SIDS. But SIDS is not associated with off-gassing. Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), including formaldehyde, are the most common gases off-gassed by some mattresses.

“Outgassing”, another term for off-gassing, is in a definition “the emission of gases already present in a substance”. For example, gases off-gassed from a mattress are already there.

Our Toxic Gas Theory states SIDS is caused by toxic nerve gases created on and not already present as gases in baby mattresses.

All these following factors are necessary for SIDS-causing-nerve-gases to be created: 

  • A fungus that grows everywhere,
  • sweat and other fluids for the fungus to grow on,
  • heat from your baby (or adult/sibling) causing the fungus to grow faster and
  • the presence of chemical compounds in mattresses/bedding that contain phosphorous (P), arsenic (As) and/or antimony (Sb).

Our BabeSafe® covers* give significant protection against the lighter-than-air VOC’s involved with offgassing. The VOC’s are restricted from being immediately close by to your baby.

Because the gases are heavier than air, the BabeSafe® covers* and their gas impermeability, provide complete protection from the toxic nerve gases involved in SIDS.


One way these toxic gases have been characterized to be phosphine, arsine and stibine, is colorimetrically with silver nitrate and mercuric bromide test strips. (pp.117, 165)** These gases are each progressively more heavy than air. The VOC’s on the other hand generally float upward as they are lighter than air.

Some new mattresses emit a noticeable “chemical smell” when first unpacked. This chemical smell is not the toxic nerve gases that we say cause SIDS. The rate of dissipation of this chemical smell can be greatly speeded up by airing the newly unpacked mattress outside in bright sunshine for a few days, but still bringing it inside for overnight.

The odor of arsine and stibine smell somewhat like garlic. But because of their being heavier than air and sinking to the floor, their odor is unlikely to be detected. Phosphine is essentially odorless. (pp.35-36)**

All said, the BabeSafe® SIDS wrap is able to significantly protect their babies from off-gassing, for those parents/grandparents that have those concerns, in addition to protecting their babies against SIDS.

Mattress-Wrapping Info:

At issue in this New Zealand theory for SIDS are: commonly used flame retardants in the mattresses/bedding, plasticizers that make mattress plastic soft and polymer-forming agents in bedding fabrics (polyester, Rayon and acrylic) and in PVC. All these are problems especially when they are present in the infant sleeping situations.

There are ventilation holes on the bottom side of BabeSafe® mattress covers. These holes are to reduce condensation and to keep the covered mattress from pillowing up, if it were completely air-tight. The toxic gases float, diffuse away, to the floor below the crib from the bottom of the covered mattress because the gases are heavier than air.

By your covering your baby’s mattress with a BabeSafe® cover, i.e., making a barrier between your baby and their mattress, and by using 100% cotton bedding with no padding or quilting… You’ve solved the SIDS problem!

* The BabeSafe® covers are manufactured from an inert plastic and are not capable of any gas generation.

** Page citations are from the Cot Death Cover Up? – Book by Dr. Sprott available from a BabeSafe distributor.

Adult-Sized Mattresses:

Bedsharing, or co-sleeping with babies, must not occur under any circumstances, even if there is a mattress protector or wrap on the adult-sized mattress. Placing a BabeSafe® wrapped co-sleeper mattress within arms reach, but separate and next to your bed, is indeed permitted.

Yet, even if the adult sleeping situation were to meet all the BabeSafe mattress-wrapping and bedding requirements, simply the presence of another person in the same bed with your baby heightens the risk of SIDS happening. Another body gives added heat for the fungus to grow. This added heat, increases the risk of toxic nerve gases being formed. We greatly discourage co-sleeping with your baby.

Unless the adult user has been medically diagnosed with an allergy or chemical sensitivity, there is no need to wrap adult-sized mattresses for medical or environmental purposes. It is our view that commercial western-style mattresses do not generate gases which could be of any medical or environmental concern for most adults.

Off-Gassing and Adult Beds Page Summary:

  • Preventing off-gassing is not our foremost goal.

− But our BabeSafe® covers do indeed provide a barrier against off-gassing.

  • Since SIDS only occurs in infants, BabeSafe of New Zealand only makes infant-sized mattress covers to prevent SIDS.

− That is,BabeSafe in New Zealand does not manufacture covers for any mattresses larger than infant-sized mattresses.

We are CampaigningToPreventSIDS

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