Consumer goods manufacturers are responsible for guaranteeing the safety of their products and preventing their consumers from suffering damage or being injured as a consequence of design defects. For this reason, consumers may assume that the products they use daily are safe when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In fact, most hazards caused by unreliable safety features can be prevented. These products should also contain warnings on the label.
According to the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC), manufacturers and sellers of significant purchases, such as mattresses, are compelled by law to offer a warranty. Generally, a mattress warranty protects you against faults or flaws that occur due to shoddy craftsmanship or manufacture. Thousands of individuals are injured each year by faulty products, costing them millions of dollars. For instance, Zinus mattresses include fiberglass as a fire retardant in the inner layer. The mattress’s flaw is the zipper placement on the outside cover, indicating to the customer that they can remove it for washing.
Some Manufacturers Include Glass Fibers into Their Mattresses to Provide a Fire Barrier
A mattress cover is usually described as the manufacturer’s “native” detachable or non-removable encasement that protects the mattress’s core layers. Unlike detachable “native” mattress covers that can be machine washed, manually washed, or dried, non-removable mattress covers can only be spot cleaned or are not washable. Not all mattress covers can be cleaned, as is the case with Zinus mattresses, and removing them may interfere with the fire safety barrier, so please keep the cover on at all times.
Numerous customers have filed a class-action lawsuit against Zinus, claiming that when the outer cover of the aforementioned mattresses is unzipped, glass fibers may spill out, causing severe injuries and property damage. According to the Zinus class-action complaint, the mattress’s label neglected to warn the customer that removing the outer cover would reveal the mattress’s innards, namely the glass fibers. Generally speaking, fiberglass is not a material that most people associate with the mattress industry. However, a common feature of low-cost foam mattresses is fiberglass in a thin shell that surrounds the foam core, which is also true for the Zinus mattresses.
Many customers are becoming more concerned about this, without a doubt. However, for many manufacturers, fiberglass is the fire retardant material of choice.
Fiberglass is a collection of very fine fibers made from various recycled materials, which are melted glass. Fiberglass is easy to work with, lightweight, and cheap, so many manufacturers utilize it in their products. Assume you’ve used fiberglass wadding to insulate water pipes or an attic area or that you’ve fixed a boat. You’re undoubtedly well aware of how fiberglass particles may pierce the skin and cause discomfort and irritation in this situation.
Fiberglass Exposure Due to Design Defects and Inadequate Warning Labels
A zippered shield is available in particular mattresses with a “do not remove cover” warning. The removal of the mattress top cover exposes the glass fibers, enabling them to be immediately dispersed into the surrounding environment. Numerous mattress makers do not advise against this. As a result, many people unintentionally create a hazardous situation. Glass particles may cause discomfort and even severe reactions in those exposed.
Worse, once fiberglass pieces have escaped from your mattress, they are almost impossible to remove. Glass shards may rapidly move throughout the home with the help of the HVAC system, contaminating the air, carpeting, draperies, upholstered furniture, clothing, and virtually everything else. Customers who have bought a potential fiberglass mattress should read the instructions/label that came with their particular mattress cover since this is the only way to know whether or not the mattress cover can be cleaned. However, it is critical to do this properly because if it goes wrong, customers could end up voiding the warranty and exposing the protective fire barrier, resulting in the disclosure of glass fibers.
Mattress warranties only cover production or manufacturing defects. For example, if anything went wrong with the structure of your mattress as a consequence of regular, appropriate usage in the manner intended by the manufacturer, your guarantee would be valid, and you would be compensated. As we have previously mentioned, some manufacturers claim that removing the zippered cover violates the warranty. However, this begs the question: why is there a zipper? Many people mistakenly pulled these covers to wash them, discovered the fiberglass, and had a massive headache getting rid of fiberglass.
About the author:
Jonathan Sharp is the Chief Financial Officer at Environmental Litigation Group P.C., a law firm based in Birmingham, Alabama, specializing in providing high-quality legal services to people whose health has been severely affected due to exposure to hazardous chemicals.