Have you been looking for a safe crib mattress for your baby? We hope you didn’t purchase a Nook Pure Organic Crib Mattress because they were found to contain toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” that are persistent in the environment and can become persistent inside your body. No mother wants these types of toxic chemicals disrupting the future of her children, so what do you do and what does Mamavation suggest? You’ve trusted Mamavation to cover topics like best non-toxic “breathable” crib mattresses, safest baby strollers without PFAS, best organic infant formulas, the safest infant & convertible car seats, & safest baby food, now join us for our coverage on the Nook Sleep Systems lawsuit.
Disclosure: This post was medically reviewed by Sondra Strand, RN, BSN, PHN. This post also contains affiliate links.
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Nook Sleep Systems LLC (aka Nook Crib Mattress) Sued for False & Deceptive Marketing
On March 31st, 2023, Toxic-Free USA and Beyond Pesticides sued Nook Sleep Systems, makers of Nook Pure Organic Crib Mattresses, in Superior Court of the District of Columbia for false and deceptive marketing of the sale of “Pure Organic” crib mattresses.
According to the complaint filed in Superior Court, “Nook represents to District of Columbia’s consumers that the Products are safe and natural. Instead, they contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”), a group of synthetic chemicals that are extremely resistant to degradation, persistent indefinitely in the environment, bioaccumulative in the blood and body tissues, and can be harmful to humans and the environment, even at very low levels.”
It goes on to say, “Nook markets these Products as “pure,” “organic,” “natural,” “non-toxic,” and “safe” …and uses third-party certifications to market itself as a sustainable company. In reality, the Products contain synthetic chemicals that are not organic or natural, are not safe for humans or the environment, and would not be expected in a “pure,” “organic” and/or “non-toxic” mattress.”
PFAS “Forever Chemicals” Found in Nook Baby Mattresses
Toxic-free USA and Beyond Pesticides sent Nook off to the lab and found indications of PFAS “forever chemicals.”
- 896 parts per million (ppm) of fluorine on the outer cover of the mattress and
- 1185 parts per million (ppm) of fluorine on the mattress cover
Then they did further testing at another lab and found two types of PFAS on the outer layer of the mattress cover:
- 6:2 fluorotelomer alcohol (6:2 FOH) — 130 parts per billion (ppb)
- perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) — 88 parts per billion (ppb)
Based on these findings, they were able to sue Nook Sleep Systems in Superior Court. The lawsuit does not ask for any monetary compensation. Because these plaintiffs are “public-interest organizations,” they are allowed to act on behalf of the general public to bring any action that an individual consumer would be entitled to bring. The plaintiffs seek to end the unlawful conduct directed at D.C. consumers, however, they are also asking for attorney’s fees and reimbursement of the costs incurred in bringing this action.
What Certifications Did Nook Use to Paint Themselves as a Sustainable Company
Unfortunately, no certification has PFAS “forever chemicals” completely banned or restricted. Although some have made some strides to avoid specific PFAS “forever chemicals,” there are over 12,000 PFAS chemicals, and restricting a few isn’t going to make much of a dent in the overall scheme of things.
Here are the certifications that Nook used to give themself a green marketing halo:
- GREENGUARD Certified: In advertising said “are scientifically proven to meet some of the world’s most rigorous, third-party chemical emissions standards,” reduce the risk of chemicals exposure and indoor air pollution and aid “in the creation of healthier indoor environments.”
- OEKO-TEK STANDARD 100: In advertising said “is one of the world’s best-known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances. It stands for customer confidence and high product safety.”
These standards are examples of certifications that have not banned or restricted the entire category of PFAS “forever chemicals.”
Health Effects Linked to PFAS “Forever Chemicals”
PFAS “forever chemicals” are problematic to human health and the environment. They are considered ubiquitous, persistent, and toxic. Many of these chemicals can last for years or decades in our bodies. Therefore, it’s imperative to reduce the amount of PFAS you are exposed to from food, water, and personal care products such as eye contacts.
Below are listed health impacts from exposure to PFAS in general:
- Reduction in immunity
- Reduced vaccination response
- Increased risk of allergies & asthma in young children
- Affected growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children
- Increase cholesterol levels
- Metabolic diseases like obesity & diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Lowered a woman’s chance of getting pregnant
- Lowered male fertility
- Increased risk of kidney & testicular cancers
- Causes endocrine disruption
- Disrupted normal thyroid function
We may not be able to tell you if or how much PFAS will leach into the body from exposure to the eyeball, but we do know that PFAS exposure is possible based on some studies looking at dermal exposure in animals. It’s also very clear based on biomonitoring evidence from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that PFAS are in essentially all Americans.
Mamavation’s Recommended “Breathable” Crib Mattresses & Mattress Cover
Now that we’ve spent all this time warning you about the dangers of Nook crib mattresses, which brand of crib mattress does Mamavation recommend? We have been recommending Naturepedic for many years, purchased them for all our children (who are now grown), and have always trusted this small family business to go above and beyond what other crib mattress companies do. Here’s our recommendations:
- Naturepedic Breathable 2-Stage Mattress (Lightweight OR Innerspring)(Take 15% off your Naturepedic total purchase with code MAMAVATION15.)
- Naturepedic Ultra Breathable 2-Stage Crib Mattress (Lightweight OR Innerspring)(Take 15% off your Naturepedic total purchase with code MAMAVATION15.)
- Naturepedic Ultra Breathable Mattress Cover (Take 15% off your Naturepedic total purchase with code MAMAVATION15.)
The Naturepedic mattresses are made with FDA food-grade sugarcane plastic waterproofing below the certified organic cotton. With both of these standard-size products, the baby will have plenty of oxygen required to breathe and no off-gassing of problematic chemicals or microbes. Below we will describe the features in detail so you can see why this would be superior to other brands we’ve ranked.
Naturepedic Ultra Breathable Lightweight 2-Stage Crib Mattress
This is the ultimate breathable mattress that is safe for infants, where the baby can breathe and they are not accumulating toxic chemicals or microbes.
- Has GOTS 3rd party certification. (They also have GREENGUARD Gold Certification, but this certification isn’t as meaningful in terms of mattresses so don’t be fooled by other brands relying on this certification alone. )
- Made from GOTS organic cotton & GOTS organic wool.
- Contains no chemical fire retardants or other types of harsh chemicals.
- Contains no polyurethane foam, (which is incredibly flammable, so no wonder brands put a ton of fire retardants inside these types of mattresses inside the fire barrier) but is still soft bedding.
- Has a waterproof barrier made from a tiny food-grade plant-based polyethylene sheath made of sugarcane, which is the safest plastic and fluorine-free.
- No adhesives are used. Everything is sewn together by a factory full of Amish workers that are picked up early in the morning and dropped off before dinner every weekday.
- Very easy to clean. You simply wipe it with a damp cloth. That’s it.
- Pricing: Naturepedic Ultra Breathable Organic Crib Mattress is $399 to $450. (Or you can purchase the Naturepedic Breathable Organic Crib Mattress for $349 to $379)
Mamavation reached out to Naturepedic for you and got a discount for you to use. Take 15% off your Naturepedic total purchase with code MAMAVATION15. While supplies last. Cannot be used with other promo codes. Cannot be applied to past purchases. Valid one time per customer. Other restrictions may apply.