Antimony is a chemical element that is said to be carcinogenic. And yet, numerous people sleep on it night by night – unaware of this fact.
What is antimony?
Antimony by itself is quite rare in nature. Therefore, it often is produced artificially. People can absorb it unknowingly in many different ways, for example by inhaling, swallowing, with food or via the skin.
Nowadays, antimony is predominantly used as metal alloy but also in producing brakes, tires, as catalyst in PET bottles and – as flame retardant in mattresses and textiles. In contrast to today, in former days antimony has been used in the medicine, too, namely in emetics or laxatives. In 2003, the WHO has classified antimony as carcinogenic. Partially, in the EU antimony alloys are classified as corrosive and toxic.
How much antimony do mattresses contain?
In the EU, the limit value of antimony in mattresses is 30 milligrams (per kg). Samples revealed, that in many mattresses far more than the allowed maximum value were detectable.
Can we avoid antimony in everyday life?
It is difficult to completely avoid antimony. It is advisable to check toys for the indication “EN71”. Here, the limit value is 60 milligrams per kg. In the food sector you have to consequently dispense with plastic packaging to be antimony-free.
This post is also available in / Diesen Beitrag gibt es auch in: German