We use GOTS organic certified wool as a fire retardant in our Luxury Plush, Green, and Latex mattresses.
Wool is often used as a fire retardant because it is commonly considered non-flammable in its natural state. Testing over many years has confirmed that the high keratin protein and moisture content of the fabric make it naturally resistant to burning. It is difficult to set alight under most conditions, and burns only weakly, forming a cold char, which tends to extinguish burning. Tests have shown wool to be among the safest of bedding materials.
That being said, some "green" manufacturers treat their wool with flame-retarding chemicals, yet still claim that their wool is 100% natural. They do so to ensure that their mattress passes flammability tests.
At Avocado, we do not add any (toxic) flame-retarding chemicals to our wool.
Wool’s inherent chemical structure makes it naturally flame resistant. Wool is harder to ignite than many common textile fibers. While cotton catches alight at 255°C, the temperature must reach 570-600°C before wool will ignite.
Because our hybrid Vegan Mattress does not use wool, we add natural graphite powder to the latex, which exceeds all U.S. standards for flammability. Graphite powder is commonly called expandable graphite. When it comes into contact with fire, the graphite expands super fast and absorbs the oxygen. Of course, for anything to burn, you need oxygen. So this process prevents burning, and it does not release any toxins, either.
And our Vegan Latex Mattress uses natural hydrated silica instead of wool. Hydrated silica is naturally derived from silica (silicon dioxide), an abundant compound that forms about 12 percent of the earth's surface. Hydrated silica has a long history of safe use as an ingredient in food products. It acts as a natural and non-toxic flame retardant in our Vegan Latex Mattress.