The Backstory

A un-reviewed guest blog posted on the Scientific American® website in 2010 has caused some concern on the Internet that there may be a link between mattresses that contain innersprings and cancer caused from exposure to high EMFs (electric and magnetic fields). 

But there is a crucial factual error in the post. According to Discover® magazine's website: "[The blog post in Scientific American] gets the researchers’ explanation exactly backwards: it said that the springs acted as antennas and amplified radio waves, increasing the likelihood of cancer; the researchers actually said the springs attenuate radio waves and decrease incidence of cancer."

Even so, the story continues to propagate. 

Misinformation & Facts

Since that time, there have also been a handful of videos on YouTube (such as this video and this video), that show a person holding EMF meter (electromagnetic radiation detector) while measuring the results over a traditional innerspring mattress. The innersprings shown in these videos are continuous coil innersprings — which means the coils are inter-connected with a tightly coiled wire called a helical. (Yes, helical wires are sometimes used in antenna.)

Please note: We do not use continuous coils (or open coils) or connecting helical wires between the coils in any Avocado Green Mattress. Instead, we use fabric-encased innersprings — which means every coil is individually wrapped inside sealed fabric pockets so they function independently. They are not interconnected. (As reference, this video explains the different types of innersprings.) This is important, because if the coils are not connected, their ability to function as an antenna is greatly diminished. 

EMFs and the Avocado Green Mattress

Although we are obviously not scientists, we tested our Avocado Green Mattress and posted our results, as the video from April 2017 demonstrates (below). Please note: we are not attempting to refute the connection between EMFs and health. Instead, we are simply demonstrating that there is no measurable EMF impact detected on our mattresses.

What is a safe level? The EPA recommends 2.5 milligauss (mG) or less. However, the Seletun panel in 2011 recommends a lower threshold of 1 mG or less.

Factcheck: Snopes

The misconception that coil mattresses promote cancer came from a 'Scientific American' blog post that interpreted the results of an already wildly speculative paper incorrectly.

Claim: Coiled mattresses cause cancer by amplifying radio waves.
Rating: False.


Background: According to the EPA

Overview: Electric and Magnetic Fields

Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are a combination of electric and magnetic fields of energy that surround any electrical device that is plugged in and turned on.

  • Scientific experiments have not clearly shown whether or not exposure to EMF increases cancer risk. Scientists continue to conduct research on the issue.
  • The strength of electromagnetic fields fades with distance from the source. Limiting the amount of time spent around a source and increasing the distance from a source reduces exposure.

About Electric and Magnetic Fields

Electromagnetic radiation consists of waves of electric and magnetic energy moving together through space. Electric fields are produced by electric charges and magnetic fields are produced by the flow of current through wires or electrical devices.

EMFs are found near power lines and other electronic devices such as smart meters. Electric and magnetic fields become weaker as you move further away from them. The fields from power lines and electrical devices have a much lower frequency than other types of EMF, such as microwaves or radio waves. EMF from power lines is considered to be extremely low frequency. Scientific studies have not clearly shown whether exposure to EMF increases cancer risk. Scientists continue to conduct research on the issue.

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