According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) safety standards, all mattresses must include flame retardants to ensure that they can survive exposure to an open flame. So, it’s no surprise that consumers are concerned whenever manufacturers add chemicals to everyday household products especially since there’s been a lot of debate over whether or not flame retardants in mattresses are safe.
Mattresses sold in the United States must meet a federal safety standard for open-flame fire resistance. Fiberglass is often used to provide a level of protection at a reasonable cost. After recent reports of the glass shards leaking through the fabric cover on some mattresses and contaminating homes, fiberglass might not be the safest material to have in your mattress.
Many Mattresses Contain Fiberglass That Acts as a Fire Suppressant
Most cheap foam mattress brands contain fiberglass in their thin shell encasing the foam core, and that’s the case with the Zinus mattresses as well. The importance of purchasing a fiberglass-free mattress cannot be overstated. When unzipped, a fiberglass mattress releases small shards of glass into the environment. Unfortunately, many mattress manufacturers do not warn you against unzipping their apparent zippable mattresses; thus, many individuals end up exposing themselves to millions of glass shards.
In the unfortunate event that you have unzipped your Zinus mattress, fiberglass might be lurking in your house. It could contaminate many things: the air, carpeting, draperies, upholstered furniture, and clothing; it may enter your ventilation system, heater, or air conditioner, which will cause further damage. If you try to wash fiberglass-coated items, it will clog your washing machine.
Zinus Mattresses Leaking Out Fiberglass Particles, Suit Says
According to a 2017 survey by American mattress reviewer Honest Mattress Reviews, 80% of the mattresses in the study contained fiberglass often blended with other ingredients, like modacrylic—a modified acrylic fiber—in the layer underneath the fabric on which you are meant to sleep on.
In 2020, a class-action lawsuit against Zinus, Inc. was launched after numerous customers claimed they were harmed by their mattresses that leaked fiberglass particles. The plaintiffs allege that when they removed their mattress cover, they were exposed to glass fibers, which caused them a series of health issues, including skin irritation, breathing problems, eye injuries, and upper respiratory infections. They filed the same complaint against various distributors, including Amazon, eBay, Target, Wal-Mart, and Wayfair. Experts recommend that residents vacate their houses until a professional cleaning company has thoroughly cleaned them.
When the Fiberglass In Your Mattress May Be Hazardous to You and Your Family
Eventually, fiberglass will make its way to the surface. A worn-out mattress might begin to irritate your skin. This is because small glass particles may migrate from the inside of the mattress to the surface. If your bed starts to chafe your skin, it likely contains fiberglass; it is time to consider changing it.
Airborne Fiberglass Particles. If your mattress is old or worn out, the fiberglass shards can be released into the atmosphere whenever you clean or air it. If you remove the detachable cover, your house will be filled with nearly invisible yet stinging fiberglass particles. The latter is dangerous to those who have trouble breathing and asthma and bronchial problems will worsen along with allergy symptoms.
How to Prevent Fiberglass Exposure
- Make sure your mattress’s outer cover is never removed or damaged. Removing the cover is a guaranteed method to release fiberglass into your house. A mattress’s structure may include up to 65% or more fiberglass. If your mattresses begins to irritate your skin, particularly if it’s a few years old, it would be best to replace it.
- Some fiberglass mattresses come with a zippable cover suggesting it can be removed. Avoid doing so unless you are positive that your mattress is fiberglass-free.
- Wear a mask and protective goggles whenever you handle a mattress that you suspect is leaking fiberglass and protect your skin as much as possible. Once your protective gear has been used, discard it and take a thorough shower to remove any stray pieces of irritating material.
- If you do have to dispose of a mattress containing fiberglass, make sure to hire a professional to remove it from your premises.
Despite the known risks, several mattress manufacturers continue to use fiberglass mostly because it’s a low-cost fire-resistant material. Mattresses containing fiberglass are usually cheaper and cost hundreds of dollars less than those made from organic materials.
Finally, those who own Zinus mattresses and have been exposed to fiberglass after removing the cover not warning them about the potential dangers, may have the right to file a claim and seek justice in a court of law.
About the author
Treven Pyles is the Administrative Director at Environmental Litigation Group, P.C., a law firm based in Birmingham, AL, dedicated to assisting people who have suffered adverse health effects due to defective products and occupational exposure due to toxic chemicals.