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The Cot Death Cover-up? Paperback – 27 Feb 1997

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (27 Feb. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140261982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140261981
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 798,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By littlefroggy on 30 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the first moment I came across the Dr Sprot and the 'toxic gas theory' I knew he was right. Reading this book has confirmed to me that the cause of cot death is understood by a handful of scientists who are struggling to make their voices heard. Unfortunately not yet accepted government or by medical orthodoxy, I believe that babies will continue to die needlessly until it is. Every parent should be made aware of this information so they can decide for themselves whether to follow the recommendations. The politics of research and funding are also discussed but most importantly the chemistry and epidemiology is explained in layman's terms along with exactly how to prevent cot death. It's a tragedy and a disgrace that the government has not properly investigated their work. Please read this book and pass it on to everybody who already has or is planning to conceive a baby.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
The Cause of SIDS is known, and easily prevented. 18 Aug. 2005
By Jacob - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most worthwhile books I have ever read in my entire life!!! Dr. Jim Sprott has been working tirelessly to bring the truth about SIDS to the world. Many parents may be unaware of a 100% successful crib death prevention campaign which a New Zealand scientist, Dr Jim Sprott, has been running in New Zealand for ten years.

Dr Sprott states with certainty that the cause of crib death has been discovered: it is caused by very toxic nerve gases which can be generated from mattresses and certain other bedding used in babies' cribs. These toxic nerve gases are generated when compounds of phosphorus, arsenic and/or antimony in the bedding combine with household fungus which commonly grows in bedding.

These gases (which are all anticholinesterase agents), when inhaled by a baby or absorbed through the baby's skin in a lethal dose, shut down the baby's central nervous system, stopping breathing and then heart function. Thus the cause of crib death is not medical - it is the result of environmental poisoning. The baby can be fatally poisoned without waking and without physical struggle.

The solution is to prevent exposure of babies to the gases by wrapping mattresses in accordance with a specified protocol and ensuring that bedding used on top of the wrapped mattresses is not capable of the gas generation concerned.

Since late 1994 mattress-wrapping has been publicized nationwide in New Zealand. Prior to the commencement of mattress-wrapping, New Zealand had the highest crib death rate in the world (2.1 deaths per 1000 live births). Following the adoption of mattress-wrapping the New Zealand nationwide crib death rate has fallen by 56% - and there has been no reported crib death among those babies who have slept on mattresses wrapped in accordance with Dr Sprott's mattress-wrapping protocol. Among the ethnic group most likely to wrap babies' mattresses (New Zealand Europeans) the crib death rate has fallen by around 80%.

These major reductions in New Zealand crib death rates cannot be attributed to orthodox crib death prevention advice (e.g. face-up sleeping). There has been no material change in that advice in New Zealand since 1992.

The toxic gas theory for crib death explains every risk factor which medical researchers associate with crib death.

A considerable amount of research relating to the toxic gas theory has been published in peer-reviewed medical and other scientific journals. In fact, mattress-wrapping for crib death prevention is supported by wider research than supported the introduction of various items of orthodox crib death prevention advice (including face-up sleeping).

According to Dr Sprott (who has a PhD in chemistry and is expert in the gas generation concerned), every step in the toxic gas theory for crib death has been proved. And the ten-year New Zealand experience provides practical proof that mattress-wrapping prevents crib death.

Some orthodox crib death researchers say that crib death rates in various countries have fallen without the introduction of mattress-wrapping - and they have. But there is a crucial difference: many babies have died of crib death where parents followed orthodox crib death prevention advice; but there has been no reported crib death on mattresses wrapped in accordance with Dr Sprott's mattress-wrapping protocol.

Unlike orthodox crib death prevention advice, mattress-wrapping has a 100% success record in crib death prevention.

Needless to say, my children are sleeping on Dr. Sprott's Mattress Covers. Since they sleep safe, I sleep well.

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Facts are facts SIDS can be prevented 13 Mar. 2006
By Page Turner - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have read this book. It is written well and it contains enough facts to satisfy anyone. All new parents should read this book. I am bothered by the writer who wrote a review about this book when they have obviously not read it. It's obvious to me after reading this book that Dr. Sprotts goal is not to sell mattress covers, but simply to save babies lives. Mattress covers are not needed if the parents are willing to sleep their baby on materials that don't contain the flame retardants which react with a common household fungus, to cause a toxic gas. Anyone who actually reads this book would agree that the cause of SIDS "Cot Death" has been discovered. You will also be disgusted by the Medical community's lack of willingness to investigate this Theory themselves. Why do the SIDS organizations on the internet solicit donations so heavily, and claim that they are researching... this possible cause, and that possible cause; none of them will even acknowledge that the Toxic Gas theory even exists. I hate to say it but our nonprofit SIDS organizations seem as though they are simply trying to hold onto their jobs, by pretending the true cause of SIDS has not been found. These so called "non-profit" SIDS organizations are taking it one step further and trying to blur the definition of SIDS, they are trying to lump all types of infant deaths into the category of SIDS they now say SIDS and "OID" (other infant death)... I guess that's just job security. They can't deny the truth forever. We as parents won't let them. One by one as we learn the truth we will inform our circle of friends, until the Medical community who claim that there "are no facts to back it up" will be forced to come up with their own research which will yield the facts they need to satisfy their denial.

This is a great book, well written and easy to understand. I actually found the first chapter and got to read it before I bought the book, if you are leery about purchasing the book read the first chapter.
10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This Is A Scam 27 Jun. 2011
By J. Brooke Hefley - Published on
Format: Paperback

First Candle/SIDS Alliance has carefully followed and reviewed all studies that have been done to try and
substantiate the toxic gas hypothesis but, in short, there has been no real evidence to support the claims.
Attached you will also find additional documentation and information relative to the toxic gas hypothesis. As you will see, organizations and researchers from around the world share our position. Even
experts in New Zealand, where this theory originated, do not support the claims.
Following are some of the main points of the follow-up studies done abroad to support our position here
in the United States:
* There is no difference in antimony in babies that die of cot death/SIDS and other babies;
* Antimony is found in most babies, even before birth (before they could have had any exposure to
mattresses. It could come from maternal diet, but antimony is everywhere, including common
household dust.
* No antimony was added to mattresses before 1988, and yet SIDS deaths were occurring pre-1988 at
the rate of about 2,000 per year (now less than 500 per year.)
* The year after antimony was first added to mattresses, 1989, was the year that cot deaths began to
decrease - at first a small decrease and then, after 1991 following campaigns to sleep babies on the
back, a rapid decrease - cot deaths dropped in all by over 70% between 1988 and 1995.
* The theory claims that the decrease was due to publicizing advice to wrap mattresses is unfounded:
as of 1993-1995, only 2% of babies were sleeping on wrapped mattresses; babies have also been
found to die on wrapped mattresses.
* Cot death occurs in countries where no antimony has been added to mattresses.
* When comparing babies who die and babies who live, proportionately more of the babies who live
sleep on PVC mattresses.
* According to the theory, death occurs because the toxic gas reduces acetylcholinesterase, leading
to heart failure, but post mortem examinations of babies who die shows no reduction in
* The fungus, Scopulariopsis brevicaulis, that was said to be present on all cot mattresses and which
was essential for the release of toxic gases, is actually hardly ever present on cot mattresses.
In summary, to date, there is insufficient scientific evidence to support the claim that toxic fumes
resulting from a chemical reaction between bed-wetting and a flame retardant chemical used in infant
mattresses (antimony) are a cause of SIDS. According to experts both in the U.S. and abroad, the
mattress wrapping process proposed by proponents of this theory will not aid in preventing a SIDS death.
We encourage parents to avoid old and worn mattresses, especially those that may have foam or padding
exposed (increasing the potential for bacteria) or those that where indentations are made when your
hand is placed firmly on the surface.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Must-Read for New Parents- and Grandparents 5 Feb. 2008
By Smartgirl - Published on
Format: Paperback
As others have already commented so well, I will be brief. This book is definitely a must-read. If you have found mattress wrapping information on the internet and are skeptical about this crib death prevention information, you must get the book instead of shrugging it off. People are so perplexed about the SIDS industry and why medical organizations aren't jumping on the BabeSafe bandwagon. Why? Haven't we learned through the cancer organizations? There are cures and prevention strategies for cancer that aren't even mentioned on cancer sites! The SIDS industry is no different, and if you want the inside scoop on the development of the toxic gas theory and the backlash that resulted, you need to get The Cot Death Cover-up?

Regarding the negative "review" and First Candle, from their website..."First Candle believes that success in saving babies' lives will be enhanced through strategic partnerships, collaboration and coalition-building. We are governed by a volunteer board of directors, employ a top-notch staff to manage our programs and services and utilize a national network of members and partners..." You can see their 2008 tax return here: Look at it carefully. They have gotten millions from the government. Two "employees" make six figures. SIDS is a multi-million dollar industry and these organizations have no incentive to find a cure. It's not rocket science.

You can listen to a forensic scientist by reading this book, or trust "strategic partnerships," and if you want to read the response regarding the claims made by First Candle, visit
14 of 25 people found the following review helpful
100% preventable - not true, as I know personally, but sells mattress covers 14 Feb. 2006
By Ms. Kathryn Houseman Lobert - Published on
Format: Paperback
I would like to hear Dr. Sprott's explanation of SIDS deaths when the babies have never been on a crib mattress or any of the other "gas-leaking" products he lists. I personally know families whose children were NEVER on any of these products, and yet their babies are gone. One of those babies was very important to me. Dr. Sprott's goal may not be selling mattress wraps, but his theory is being used for just that. I have checked extensively, including speaking with the marketer of these mattress wraps, and there has been no follow-up on the purchasers of these wraps - none. If they do not follow up,how can they say definitively that no deaths have occured? There may very well be something to the toxic gas theory, but, as yet, there is not anywhere near enough proof to declare SIDS resolved. Not to mention, if these people genuinely have proof of this theory, why in the **** are they not beating down the door of every government and media outlet in the world? When I asked the marketer of these wraps this question, the response was that they didn't have time to deal with people who refuse to believe them. I told this person if they really have this answer as they claim, they should be wearing a sandwich board in Time Square or skiing naked down the Matterhorn to get the information out. SIDS or cot death is the #1 cause of death of infants between the ages of one month and one year. How could you not have time to make it known if you had the prevention for this thief of babies and devastator of families?
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