Experts issue warning about mattresses containing fibreglass

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Fibreglass is a material used in some mattresses to limit the potential of a deadly fire. While it successfully works as a flame retardant, there are concerns around other associated health risks. Experts shared how to protect yourself from fibreglass if you have experienced any of the effects.

They said as long as the fibreglass stays inside the mattress, the bed “should be safe enough”.

A spokesman for explained: “More and more mattress shoppers are becoming aware of the potential risks to fibreglass, with a greater demand for mattresses free of fibreglass.

“Though it’s non-toxic, fibreglass can cause severe discomfort if it escapes its mattress.”

Health risks of fibreglass

Exposure to fibreglass is known to lead to symptoms of irritation.

Experts from said: “Once fibreglass gets free, it’s difficult to remove it all from a living area, finding its way into the crevices of a cluttered bedroom.

“So those irritation symptoms will persist until your home is clean.

“The health consequences of fibreglass exposure can vary depending on fibre size and the kind of exposure.

“Large fibres have been reported to irritate the eyes, skin, and upper respiratory tract.”

Potential health consequences include:

  • A rash might develop if the glass fibres become buried in the skin’s outermost layers
  • Red and inflamed eyes
  • Soreness in the throat and nose
  • Exposure can worsen bronchitis and asthma
  • If you swallow fibres, you may get an upset stomach temporarily.

“There is little information available on the health impacts of tiny fibres,” the experts added.

“Smaller fibres can reach the lower section of the lungs, raising the risk of severe health consequences.”

How can I tell if my mattress has fibreglass?

“Often, mattress manufacturers won’t openly advertise that their mattresses contain fibreglass,” they said.

“Still, an observant shopper can often spot the signs of a mattress with fibreglass.

“If they don’t refer to it as fibreglass, they may call it ‘glass wool’ or ‘glass fibres’.

“Another warning sign is a manufacturer stressing that mattress owners should not remove the cover.

“Removing the cover can let fibreglass escape, and this exposure to fibreglass can cause a number of health issues.”

The experts advised: “Fibreglass is non-toxic and should not harm you if it remains safely contained, so you can continue to sleep on your mattress as long as you never remove the mattress cover.

“If you’re concerned because your mattress contains fibreglass, we suggest wrapping it in a mattress protector until it’s time to replace the mattress.

“A mattress protector can help to contain any stray shards should the cover wear out, preventing the fibreglass from spreading and creating a mess that’s extremely difficult to clean up.

“Getting rid of fiberglass that’s escaped from a mattress is a pain. Still, if you follow the right methods, you can clear the particles out of your home quickly.

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