Does Latex Foam Outgas?
Outgassing, aka offgassing, is a process in which a solid releases gas which occurs in enclosed environments such as offices and homes. This outgassing occurs in nature as well as within manufactured products. Solids can release gas for a number of different reasons. Some undergo physical changes which cause transformation from solid to gas, with the gas being released as an end result. Others may have trapped gases inside as a result of the way in which they were formed, in which case the gas will slowly vent over time.
In the poly foam world, heat is a necessary component for the expansion process and that heat is generated by the interaction of certain chemicals which cause it to heat up internally. When the expanded poly foam core, aka “memory foam”, is sent to the curing floor, outgassing will occur during this cool down process.
So does that mean that latex foam outgases?
No! Whether blended latex or natural latex, no chemicals are used to create the heat needed for the expansion process to occur. Much like a waffle iron, the heat is generated by heating up the pincore tines that protrude into the mold where the liquid latex is being poured. The tines extend from the top of mold and from the bottom of mold and are heated externally by a thermal regulated Siemens control system. The latex mattress cores are then allowed to cure and cool down as they reach normal room temperature. Both the synthetic latex and the natural latex are inert and render NO harmful outgassing characteristics. This is simply a farce passed down from vendors trying to bad mouth blended latex in favor or the higher priced natural latex components.
There is a toxicity concern in relation to memory foam products. We've all seen the posts online about health issues related to the Tempur type visco beds and many of them are valid. Whether its actual offgassing or just the toxicity of the chemical composition, I don't really know for sure. What I do know is that when the culprit (memory foam mattress) was removed, the health concerns went with it. These details are well documented online and within forums.
Now look at the construction of an air bed. What you find is not only air but tons of poly foams and memory foams layered over the air chambers. This scenario is not any better since there is foam both on top and on the bottom and of course, all around the edges as well. Basically air beds are about 50% poly foams and your face is directly over foam cushioning, not the air chambers.
So in conclusion, the best way to take the outgassing issue off the table is to purchase a latex foam mattress. Every type of spring mattress I have seen usually includes are large amount of poly foam or memory foam or both. So whether it's blended or natural latex, there is no wrong choice here. Any type of latex mattress is better than the alternative.