Fibers laced with flame-resistant fiberglass are the culprit to several consumer health issues. Individuals who have purchased the “Green Tea Mattress” have reported injuries that include scarring; and medical bills have exceeded $20,000 in damages per impacted family. In addition, the fiberglass does not necessarily reach the skin of an individual lying on an intact bed, but may be released by removing the top cover. The consumer may then unknowingly transfer the material to other rooms within a home. In response to the effects of the mattress, which is manufactured by the South Korean-based company, Zinus, several lawsuits have already been filed.
This summer, however, a California resident has elevated the problem to a proposed class action status. The mattress is sold nationwide and is listed as one of Amazon’s most purchased products. The relatively inexpensive mattress, which retails for about $300, has received more than 4 stars on Amazon, and was reviewed by about 130,000 customers. Despite the reported health complaints, the manufacturer assures the public that the fiberglass material used to generic fire resistance within the product is considered standard for the industry. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has also rejected the notion of any long-term health effects and does not acknowledge specific hazards.
Regardless of the manufacturer’s response, supported by the CPSC, a majority of the complaints involve the removal of, or damage to, the outer layer of the mattress. Otherwise, the fiberglass exposure level from an intact mattress remains arguably insignificant. It may prove difficult for consumers to swallow these details or claims, as the financial burden caused by the mattress is substantial for some individuals. Due to the need for property damage repair, caused by a vast release of fiberglass, one family was forced to live in a hotel for months. Although Zinus has advised that the mattresses come with guidelines to avoid removing the outer layer, consumers may not have been properly warned of the potential impact of fiberglass contained within the product.