The hidden dangers that could be hiding in your mattress

WSMV4 Investigates is exposing why some mattresses can be dangerous for you to sleep on.
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 7:47 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - WSMV4 Investigates is exposing why some mattresses can be dangerous for you to sleep on.

Unfortunately, some families had to find out the hard way, costing them thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars.

WSMV Investigates found out what you need to pay attention to so you can sleep safely at night.

Denise Riches thought she knew what to look for in a new mattress.

“I would’ve normally just asked them what brand it was, how hard or soft it was,” Riches said.

But when she found out some mattresses have fiberglass in them, putting people’s health at risk, she was shocked.

“I’m really concerned about it, to be honest with you,” Riches said.

WSMV4 Investigates found out in the last year alone, dozens of complaints have been made to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission about it.

A St. Louis couple that found tiny pieces of glass-like particles showed up everywhere in their home after they washed the cover to their child’s memory foam mattress.

“You never would’ve thought by taking off a cover you would destroy thousands of dollars and your whole life,” Robert Durham said.

The same thing happened to a family in Phoenix, forcing them to throw out just about everything they own.

“It’s irritating and potentially damaging to the respiratory track, particularly to the lungs,” Don Cole, Vice President and Director of Tennessee Environmental for GHP.

Here’s what’s happening.

In some mattresses, especially those memory foam mattresses, fiberglass is used as a flame retardant in the surrounding sleeve.

If you take it off, say to wash it, it can release fiberglass particles into the air. Then it gets in your skin or throat, leading to itching and a burning sensation.

“If you start seeing any glistening things on furniture or things like that, I’d be real suspect of the bed,” Cole said.

The clean-up could cost you thousands or dollars, if not more, depending on how bad it is because experts say it takes professionals to get it out of your house.

“Oh year, it’s going to be real pricey,” Cole said.

Riches said she’s thankful to find this information out now so she can make sure the mattress she buys if fiberglass free.

“I would’ve just gone and bought a new mattress, and I never would’ve known,” Riches said. “I will be asking if there’s fiberglass in it.”

WSMV4 Investigates found these mattresses are being sold in stores and exclusively online retailers. WSMV4 found a Serta and a Tempur-Pedic mattress with fiberglass in them at mattress stores in Nashville.

Be sure to check the tags on your mattresses before you buy them and also the ones you have at home now.

The CPSC said it has mandatory requirements for mattresses and mattress pads. The regulations are performance standards, not design standards, so they do not specify the use of specific materials or individual components.

Tempur Sealy provided the following statement regarding their products (Tempur-Pedic, Sealy, Stearns & Foster):

“All Tempur Sealy products have been evaluated to comply with all laws and regulations, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission and California Proposition 65.

To comply with the Consumer Product Safety Commission fire safety regulations, some manufacturers rely on exposed, brittle, easily crumbled fiberglass (a cheap technology that has made headlines in the past with dermal exposure and rashes). Conversely, the glass fibers in our products are comprised of a core-spun technology that encases the glass in a flexible protective sheath housed within the internal mattress design, and is completely safe.

To ensure safety and quality for our customers Tempur Sealy only uses this core-spun glass fiber technology, and regularly conducts independent testing to ensure continued safety, and that the materials within all Tempur Sealy products meet or exceed regulatory compliance.”