Glass in the Mattress—What Protects Us Can Also Hurt Us
Like many mattress companies, Zinus weaves glass fibers into the inner cover of its mattresses to enhance the product’s ability to stand up to fire. Those fibers remain intact as long as the structure of the mattress is stable, and the outer cover is left on. However, if the outer cover is ripped or if it is removed for washing, it can allow millions of glass shards to escape into the bedroom, and with help from the HVAC system, eventually into every room of the home.
Because of their microscopic size, glass fibers can coat furniture, surfaces and flooring, meaning there’s no way for a family to avoid touching or inhaling the painful particles. To safely return to their home, families must hire a professional cleaning service, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Health issues associated with glass fiber exposure include:
- Itchy skin
- Painful skin irritation, including the surgical removal of glass shards
- Eye injuries
- Coughing, wheezing and upper respiratory infections
- Aggravation of asthma and bronchitis
- Stomach irritation
- Chronic breathing problems and long-term adverse health effects
Until recently, Zinus did nothing to caution consumers about the risk of removing the outer cover. Not only is the cover designed with a zipper, which indicates the ability to remove it for cleaning, but its tag did not include a warning about the dangers of exposure to the inner cover or the injuries that could occur. According to the suit filed by Cueto Law, Zinus knew about the defect for more than eight months before it publicly responded to complaints from consumers through its website, informing them the cover wasn’t washable.