Raw Materials for Eco-Friendly Products - Organic Latex from Sri Lanka

Posted on Nov 09, 2015

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From the first commercial rubber plantation in Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon until 1972, the nation has had a proud history of manufacturing high quality natural rubber latex. A major resource that produces natural rubber latex is known as the South American indigenous Para rubber tree, or Hevea brasilensis.  Natural latex foam is processed from Hevea milk, commonly referred to as rubber-tree sap.

harvesting latex
harvesting latex

Images of a worker tapping the Para rubber tree to stimulate Hevea milk production

The commercial use of rubber was cultivated in the late nineteeth century by British Planters. Although its initial usage was and properties mostly unknown, the cultivation of rubber accelerated and by the early 1900‘s, where 1,750 acres of the Sri Lanka’s land-mass was covered with rubber plantations. Presently, the country has about 122,000 hectares or 301,000 acres of rubber under cultivation, with a production rate of 129 million kilograms per year. Rubber continues to be the second most important plantation crop in the nation and contributes nearly $600 million in exports. 

One of the most interesting uses of Natural Rubber Latex is the construction of organic latex mattresses. Because of the high cost of this resource, it is rare to find brand name mattresses that use only this organic matter. Often chain stores or big-box companies will usually only include 1 - 2 inches of natural latex on the top of a mattress which allows them to promote it as “natural”. Unfortunately, many of these mattresses are made from a large amount of synthetic materials as opposed to organic.latex mattress

If you want to identify the nature of a mattress, you should look at the specifications on each piece. A quick way to discover a discrepancy is if a company fails to mention the percentage of natural and synthetic content in a mattress that has been promoted as organic.  As fantastic as it would be to find a natural latex mattress at a rock bottom price, chain-stores simply cannot offer the cost effectiveness of a 100% natural latex mattress without exceeding affordability. As the old cliché says: “You get what you pay for”.  Often you may come across a ‘scratch and dent’ or slightly damaged model which is 100% Natural Latex. If you are lucky enough to discover this, you should definitely take advantage of the opportunity. However expensive these all-natural mattresses may be, this purchase would be a financially sound investment. Durable natural rubber latex is known to last as long as 20 years, which is twice the typical lifespan of a well-used mattress.   

sleep on latex mattresses

100% natural rubber latex mattresses are comfortable and fully supportive for your legs and lumbar. These mattresses go above and beyond when it comes to managing wellness and improving your health.  In addition to the normal benefits of a new mattress, latex rubber has a natural resistance to bacteria, molds and mites.  When you place an organic cotton or wool topper over a breathable latex mattress, they absorb perspiration or excess moisture from the body. It is said that the airflow in latex is unsurpassed, wicking away moisture as it dries and preventing mold or odor from penetrating the surface. Not only does this prevent bacterial spread, but it also reduces allergies and promotes breathing health. 

As an added bonus, natural latex beds have organic fire-barriers, and use no glues or chemicals. This type of mattress is perfect for environmentally conscious people who share the values of protecting and cultivating a cleaner and healthier earth. Anyone who shares a concern about exposure to toxic or synthetic chemicals and practices holistic, sustainable lifestyle should consider the 100% natural latex mattress to be the ideal choice. 


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