Children spend a significant part of their days sleeping, so checking the manufacturing labels on mattresses is crucial since the latter may constitute a significant source of toxins that can lead to unhealthy levels of chemical emissions while they sleep. Memory foam mattresses are top-rated, which could make parents believe they’re also free of toxic materials or at the very least a better alternative than other mainstream mattresses.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There has been a great deal of concern among consumers where families had to dispose of not only their mattresses but most of their belongings since everything had been contaminated with fiberglass.
Fiberglass Is Used as a Fire Retardant In Many Memory Foam Mattresses
Fiberglass is a common type of reinforced plastic that uses glass fiber, and it’s primarily used in homes as insulation. Since memory foam is derived from highly flammable poly-foam, fiberglass is the go-to fire redundant option used by most memory foam mattress manufacturers. The fiberglass material is typically layered underneath or woven into the inner cover out of sight.
The reasoning behind the use of fiberglass in mattresses is that if they caught fire, the fiberglass would melt instead of turning into an uncontrollable fire hazard. However, once exposed, fiberglass, commonly used in Zinus Mattresses as a fire retardant, can also cause inflammatory reactions in children and adults alike.
Fiberglass Particles are Airborne and Can Cause Inflammatory Reactions
If you’ve ever accidentally touched fiberglass insulation or any items containing glass fibers you’re probably well aware of how coming into contact with this material feels like—countless small splinters stuck into your skin followed by itchiness and redness. Along with its irritable effects on the skin, other possible health effects associated with fiberglass exposure are rashes, irritation, soreness in the nose, breathing issues, irritated, puffy eyes, including more severe reactions such as breaking into hives.
Compared to adults, children are at greater risk when exposed to fiberglass because they breathe differently and have different lung structures. In return, this may cause a greater amount of glass fibers to stay in the lungs.
Many consumers, particularly mothers, had reported that when they washed the mattress cover, tiny fiberglass pieces spread and contaminated their whole house—floors, clothes, furniture, washing machines, even the air ducts in the HVAC system. Similar to dust, fine glass fiber particles will get everywhere inside the home making it almost impossible to clean once they have escaped from the mattress.
Never Remove the Outer Cover of a Zippable Zinus Mattress
Multiple families have been injured by the glass fibers contained in their mattresses, so as a consequence, Zinus Inc. has been hit by a class-action lawsuit. The allegations come from people who removed the mattress cover to clean it in the washing machine.
Following these incidents, Zinus Inc. supposedly put warnings not to remove the cover under any circumstances, even though it has a zipper that indicates to everyday consumers that it’s removable. Removing the cover can cause the mattress content to be released into the environment and polluting the home to such an extent that only a professional cleaning service can get rid of it completely. Furthermore, it may cost victims from $10,000 up to $30,000 or even more to have their homes professionally cleaned.
Before the lawsuit, the manufacturer did not provide a list of the contents in the mattress, including the fiberglass content, nor was there any instruction or label to not remove the cover, nor had there been any warning on the dangers and health consequences of removing the cover.
If you own a Zinus mattress, whether it’s for yourself or your children, never remove, damage, or yank the outer cover of your mattress; this is a surefire way to release fiberglass into the air.
Currently, the class action against Zinus Inc. has been filed and is awaiting certification approval. While parents do their very best to keep their children out of harms’ way, there are situations such as this one where manufacturers may be held responsible for inaccurate descriptions of their products or for failing to inform the public of the potential dangers that their products might pose for themselves or their children.
About the author:
Jonathan Sharp is the CFO and Director of Claims at Environmental Litigation Group P.C., a law firm located in Birmingham, Alabama, committed to providing high-quality legal services to victims affected by toxic chemicals.