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September 4, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 35


Letters to the editor


Foam mattresses

Despite recent assertions in C&EN (July 17, page 20), the polyurethane mattress industry has not made nearly enough progress toward providing an acceptable product to the public. The temperature profile of foam mattresses is critically important not only to whether the mattress feels hot but also to muscle-skeletal support. Based on my experience, these mattresses become rubbery, sink, and lose shape under simple body heat. This leads to spine and muscle problems. For this same reason, those who want a cold room should be informed that an electric blanket cannot be used with a foam mattress. Worse still, a buyer cannot adequately assess the temperature profile of a foam mattress through a 10-minute test in a store.

Marie Zuckerman
North Haven, Conn.

From the web

Re: To sleep, perchance on foam

Readers questioned potential drawbacks of foam mattresses online.

The positive side is fine. But, how about its “fire resistance.” … Polyurethanes are highly flammable.
K. N. Krishna Prasad

The “moisture-wicking capability” must be referring to sweat, among other things. Is there an issue of accumulating odor?
Macy Mullen

Old-fashioned steel and cotton mattresses can be recycled when they lose their utility. What’s the lifespan of these high-tech mattresses, and what happens to them when they’re discarded?
Susan Gendreau

Are there any test results that prove that phase change materials such as polymer gel beads or graphite have any [effect] on thermal conductivity or does it continue to be just a marketing ploy?

Credit: Chester Voyage/Alamy Stock Photo
A picture of a toe in a cocktail drink.
Credit: Chester Voyage/Alamy Stock Photo

Re: Mummified toes

A reader shares an experience with a toe cocktail.

As Member No. 41152 of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, I can attest to the fact that, while the toe may be disgusting, the drink is perfectly fine as long as one chooses a decent alcoholic beverage such as a good Irish whiskey to accompany one’s becoming part of a unique tradition.



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