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The Cot Death Cover-up? [Paperback]

Jim Sprott
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

27 Feb 1997
Cot death remains a mystery to medical science. Jim Sprott believes he knows the cause. In Britain, his theories are the subject of a Government committee of inquiry - in his native New Zealand, he is ignored, prompting allegations of a cover-up. Here, he explains the theory and gives simple advice to prevent cot death.


Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (27 Feb 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140261982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140261981
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 900,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every parent should read this! 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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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cause of SIDS is known, and easily prevented. 18 Aug 2005
By Jacob - Published on Amazon.com
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.

Jacob
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Is A Scam 27 Jun 2011
By J. Brooke Hefley - Published on Amazon.com
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
acetylclolinesterase.
* 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.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Facts are facts SIDS can be prevented 13 Mar 2006
By Page Turner - Published on Amazon.com
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.
13 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 100% preventable - not true, as I know personally, but sells mattress covers 14 Feb 2006
By Ms. Kathryn Houseman Lobert - Published on Amazon.com
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?
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why is everyone so perplexed about SIDS? It's so easily preventable! 30 Jun 2008
By Kiwi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you're interested in SIDS, and more particularly, of lowering the risk of SIDS for your own child, this book is a MUST READ. At the very least, implementing Dr. Sprott's mattress-wrapping advice is a low-cost way of substantially reducing any risk of SIDS to your own child. So, read on.....I will attempt to give you enough info here to either go buy the book as a first step, or go buy a mattress-wrapper right away (google the Web, you can easily buy these in North America...). Needless to say, my partner and I have a mattress wrapper for each of our children.

SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) receives a great deal of coverage, particularly in pre-natal classes for parents, where the only real recommendation is to ensure your baby sleeps on it's back. SIDS is the #1 cause of death of infants between the ages of one month and one year. This is shameful, as Dr. Sprott, an experienced research chemist with a PhD in chemistry and who is an expert in his field, identified the cause of SIDS well over 10 years ago and came up with both recommendations (don't use mattresses soaked with flame retardants and other chemicals) and a very low-cost prevention option for those who couldn't, for whatever reason, make the switch (mattress wrapping using a gas-impermeable plastic covering).

This book covers all of the above and I recommend it strongly to any prospective parent or parent of babies under one year old who is concerned about SIDS and wants to take intelligent pre-emptive action to reduce the risk to their baby. That said, many SIDS groups, as another reviewer has commented, lump many different types of death for babies under the "SIDS" umbrella - ("SIDS" and "OID" - Other Infant Death) which results in some misleading statistics. Sprott is concerned only with the narrow classic definition of SID's - he does not address "OID" and the reader should understand this from the start - there is no fail-safe solution that will prevent all infant deaths.

However, research from New Zealand, where Sprott is from, indicates that since the introduction of "mattress wrapping" following the approach outlined in this book, New Zealand has gone from a country with one of the highest percentages of SID deaths in the world (2.1 deaths per 1000 live births) to a much lower occurrence, with the countrywide SIDS death rate dropping by 56%, and for New Zealanders of European origin, where mattress-wrapping has been adopted on a widespread bases, the SIDS death rate has fallen by approx. 80%. As Sprott points out in his book, these major reductions in New Zealand crib death rates cannot be attributed to orthodox crib death prevention advice (e.g. face-up sleeping) as there has been no material change in that advice in New Zealand since 1992, well before mattress-wrapping became widely prevalent.

Firstly, an overview of Dr. Sprott's theory as to the cause of SIDS: Simply put, Sprott is as positive as an experienced research chemist can be that SIDS is caused by the 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 from flame retardants in the mattress coverings and fillings combine with household fungus which commonly grows in bedding as well as with saliva from the baby's dribbling. These gases (which are all anticholinesterase agents), when inhaled by a baby or absorbed through the baby's skin, can shut down the baby's central nervous system, stopping breathing and then heart function. Only minute amounts are needed to create a lethal dose. These gases are however, heavier than air and generally trickle off the bed to the floor, which is why sleeping babies on their backs reduces the incidence (they're not breathing in toxic off-gassing) but does not eliminate (there's still skin contact).

Thus, the cause of SIDS in not medical but the result of environmental poisoning. And Sprott does a very good job of looking at SIDS incidents historically and making a comparison with the introduction of flame retardants into mattresses as a result of "safety" considerations. Sprott goes on to propound the use of gas-impermeable mattress covers ("Mattress-wrapping") to provide an impermeable barrier between the baby and the mattress, together with ensuring that bedding used on top of the wrapped mattresses is not capable of the gas generation concerned. 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. However, these mattresses are usually considerably more expensive, prohibitively so for many parents, and so, mattress-wrapping is usually a more practical solution.

As a previous reviewer also pointed out, and as is made clear in the book, some "orthodox" SIDS 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 SIDS where parents followed orthodox SIDS prevention advice; but there has been no reported SIDS deaths on mattresses wrapped in accordance with Dr Sprott's mattress-wrapping protocol. The evidence speaks for itself in this case.

My advice: you'll find much of the information in this book summarized on the internet. If you're still not sure, buy the book - Dr. Sprott does a pretty good job with the evidence and he IS a research chemist with a PhD and considerable job experience, not just a quack out to make a few bucks. It's interesting despite this that while pretty much all SIDS organizations claim that they are researching the causes of SIDS, many of them will not even admit that the "Toxic Gas Theory" exists, and those that do usually dismiss it without carrying out their own research. The toxic gas theory explains every risk factor which medical researchers associate with crib death, and while SIDS organizations ignore it, 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 supports the introduction of various items of orthodox crib death prevention advice (including face-up sleeping).

If you're read this far and are still interested, go buy the book, it should convince you. I did, and at the pre-natal class my wife and I attended, the nurse running the course was quite happy to allow me to give my little spiel on SIDs and provide a handout to the other parents based on the content of this book. Do the same! The more widely this knowledge percolates, the greater the chances of reducing the tragedy of SIDS.
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