One of the best selling mattress brands on Amazon is accused of being a health hazard in a newly filed lawsuit that alleges fiberglass in the product caused customers injury.
Zinus, a Tracy, California-based furniture company, is facing a class action lawsuit alleging that the material used in its ‘Green Tea’ mattress’ fire-resistant lining mix fiberglass with modacrylic can injure users. While the material is covered by a outer-lining, the suit says that because the company does not warn against removing that covering – which has a zipper to do so – it is liable for injury that comes as a result of it.
The suit ties the exposure to itchy and irritated skin, nausea, eye injury, respiratory infections and other lung problems and even shards of glass getting embedded in the skin. It also says that some who have been exposed to the fiberglass have been forced to trash furniture and clothing that have been exposed as the material can not later be removed.
As of Tuesday morning, the products are still available on Amazon. Suits have been filed in Illinois and California since 2020, according to a CBS report.
The company earns as estimated $128 million per year in revenue each year, nearly 25 percent the sales of Casper, one of the most recognizable sleep brands in America.
Zinus products, which rake in an estimated $128 million each year, have fiberglass fire-resistant coating that is allegedly causing health issues for many users
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Zinus, whose ‘green tea’ mattresses are among the best selling products on Amazon
In a website set-up to recruit plaintiffs for the class-action suit, it’s alleged that: ‘the defectiveness of the mattress lies in the presence of a zipper on the outer cover of it, which indicates to the consumer that there is nothing wrong with removing it for laundering.
‘The labels of their mattresses state that they contain 62% fiberglass but fail to warn people against removing the outer cover so as not to expose the inner layer of fiberglass.’
It specifies nine Zinus products in particular, including: Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress, Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress, Spa Sensations Theratouch Memory Foam Mattress, Sleep Master Ultima Comfort Mattress, Slumber 1 Quilted Pocket Spring Mattress, Green Tea Gel Memory Foam Mattress, Spring iCoil Mattress, Ultima Comfort Memory Foam Mattress, Relief Cloud Memory Foam Mattress.
‘A lawsuit and related misinformation campaign is misleading consumers about the type of mattress materials used to comply with fire regulations and protect our customers. The type of chemical-free fire safety material that we use is standard in the mattress industry across all price points,’ a Zinus spokesperson told DailyMail.com.
‘To protect the internal fire barrier, customers should not remove the outer mattress cover. The label discloses the contents of the mattress and warns against removing the outer cover. Zinus mattresses currently being sold include locked zippers without pull tabs and an additional sewn-in label that warns against removing the outer cover.
Fiberglass: The plastic which’s particles can cause a multitude of problems down the line
Fiberglass is a man-made plastic fiber that was first used to insulate furnaces in the 1930s
It is also often used as lining in appliances, roofing and some plastics for its soundproofing and flame-retardant capabilities
While being near the material is safe, repeated exposure to particles has been tied to many issues on a person’s skin and other internal bodily systems
Repeated exposure has been tied to skin rashes, irritation and dermatitis in some cases
Inhaling the material can also cause lung scarring, shortness of breath, coughing and other nose and lung issues
The stomach can be irritated is a person swallows fiberglass particles
Source: Illinois Department of Public Health
‘The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been quoted recently in media reports corroborating this. Additionally, various regulatory agencies and authoritative scientific bodies have concluded that exposure to this type of material does not pose a risk of chronic health effects. For all these reasons, we look forward to defending the composition and construction of our products in court, should that be necessary, and are confident we will prevail.’
An investigation by the Los Angeles Times found fiberglass in at least one Zinus mattress.
Regulation on mattresses in the U.S. is both limited and sporadic, experts say.
‘There’s no law that says that a company has to tell you every single thing that’s in a mattress,’ Bobbi Wilding, executive director of Clean and Healthy New York, told the Times.
‘So whatever they tell you is what they’re choosing to tell you, and that leaves people incredibly vulnerable because you have to just rely on what they say.’
Fiberglass exposure has been tied to multiple health issues. Exposure to a persons skin can lead to itching, rashes, allergic reactions and dermatitis.
Some even report whole body skin cuts and shards of glass being embedded into their skin.
The small particles can be inhaled, causing lung scarring, aggravation of conditions like asthma and bronchitis, coughing and shortness of breath, among other lung-related issues.
Exposure is also linked to injury to the eyes, neuro and gastrointestinal systems as well.
‘Due to the severity of their injuries, they have to spend thousands of dollars on healthcare, medical assistance and procedures, and medication,’ the website reads.
‘To make matters worse, some of the injuries caused by fiberglass are permanent, such as lung scarring, and people who end up with this serious condition have to use special inhalers that are quite expensive.
‘As a consequence of their complex injuries, consumers whose health was affected by the fiberglass in a Zinus mattress are unable to return to work for several weeks to several months, which can take a heavy toll on their financial stability.’
The alleged financial injury goes beyond just missed work and health care bills. Plaintiffs also allege that because the particles could not be removed from cloth materials in the household like clothing and furniture, those needed to discarded and repurchased as well.
‘This requires cleanup that must be carried out by a licensed, professional team, whose cost ranges between $2,000 and $10,000,’ they write.
‘Moreover, most people whose homes were contaminated by fiberglass have to dispose of nearly everything they own since fiberglass cannot be removed from certain objects such as furniture and clothes.’