Is Fiberglass in Mattresses Safe? No, it’s Potentially Harmful.

Fiberglass in Mattresses Is a Danger to Health

Fiberglass is a fiber-reinforced plastic made from thin strands of glass mixed with a resin. The glass is mostly made from silicon dioxide found in silica sand, and the resin is usually polyester.

Fiberglass can be used as a fabric, or formed into rigid shapes like plastic. It does not rust or corrode and it’s stronger than many metals by a ratio of strength compared to weight. Fiberglass is also very cheap to make so it’s very economical compared to other available options.

About Fiberglass in Mattresses

Why Is There Fiberglass In Mattresses

Since 2006 and 2007, mattresses have been held to stricter flammability standards by the Code of Federal Regulations Title 16 Part 1632 and Part 1633. These regulations were put in place because mattress fires had been steadily increasing each year.

Memory Foam is made from petroleum, while Latex is made of sap harvested from rubber trees. Both are highly flammable, especially when compared to traditional innerspring/coil mattresses. Because of this fact, mattresses sold in the US, and many other parts of the world, must meet flammability test regulations in order to be marked safe for sale.

While foam mattresses were first gaining popularity, many mattress brands used to meet flammability standards by using Antimony and other chemicals. Then it became frowned upon, and eventually illegal, to use fabrics laced with harmful flame-retardant chemicals in mattress manufacturing.

The next cheapest and easiest method of meeting flammability test standards for mattress makers was fiberglass. Yes, the same fiberglass used in boat hulls, attic insulation, and those collapsible camping chairs that get dry-rotted from the sun and make you itchy after taking a seat.

How Is Fiberglass Used In Mattresses

Fiberglass is basically thin glass fibers covered in a resin coating. It is then mixed with other fabrics and made into woven fabrics, but it can also be pressed into non-woven sheets similar to the dust cover on the underside of sofas.

Fiberglass does not ignite and burn, it just melts. For this reason, many mattress makers began wrapping the foam inside their mattresses with a fiberglass casing, known as a “firesock” in the mattress industry. It was a cheap and effective way to meet the new federal flammability standards set by the government. Many lives have been saved by these regulations according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Fiberglass works as a fire retardant in mattresses by melting when exposed to fire and smothering the flames.

Chopped Fiberglass Strands Image
Chopped Fiberglass Strands

Most latex and memory foam mattresses that utilize fiberglass will have an inner cover around the foam that’s made of rayon, polyester, or cotton mixed with “core-spun fiberglass”. It’s known in the mattress industry as a “firesock” and it’s usually beneath the non-removable outer mattress cover. However, some brands use a mesh of bare fiberglass strands encased under the top layer of its mattress cover, and a few mattress brands have been known to fiberglass directly into the foam of their mattresses.

However, this does not mean that fiberglass is perfectly safe. Fiberglass workers wear respirators and eye protection when working with different kinds of fiberglass. This is because exposure to fiberglass presents many health issues.

Are Fiberglass Mattresses Safe?

The problem with all three ways mattress makers use fiberglass is that the glass fibers never stay where they’re intended. It always seems to find a way to make it outside the mattress.

Some poor souls innocently assumed the cover on their mattress was removable because it had a zipper. They removed the cover for cleaning and unfortunately didn’t notice the glass particles before washing the mattress cover. Once the mattress cover had been washed and dried, their washing machines and dryers were coated in thin glass particles. Obviously, this complicated their issues even further, especially for those that didn’t notice the blunder and washed their clothes in the same machine. Yikes.

Symptoms of Fiberglass in your Mattress

Skin Irritation

People have shared stories online about waking up itchy and covered in rashes after sleeping on their fiberglass mattresses. These people never unzipped the non-removable covers on their beds. However, using a flashlight in a dark room they could see shimmering fiberglass sticking out of the top of the mattresses

Eye and Nose Irritation

Other people shared experiences of their eyes being irritated by fiberglass that was being shed from their mattresses after it was packed up and moved to a new home. Others had similar experiences after their kids had jumped on the bed. Some people even reported nose bleeds from fiberglass in their mattresses.

Throat and Lung Irritation

Some owners of fiberglass mattresses had ripped mattress covers caused by children or pets, which slowly released glass fibers to get spread around the home. Eventually, the fiberglass made its way to the heating and air systems to be further deposited into every room of the home while being nearly impossible to get rid of completely. Glass particles all over your living area, and airborne fiberglass floating around, can lead to serious lung and throat irritation.

Although long-term inhalation of fiberglass particles has no proof of being carcinogenic, it can still be a serious problem for people with Asthma and Bronchitis.

Fiberglass Mattress Safety Closing

Always use due diligence and ask the mattress manufacturer for yourself before buying if you are uncertain. If you are still skeptical after asking, request a photo of the tag before ordering – if they can’t or won’t provide it, then perhaps they have something to hide.

Last Updated on May 4, 2024

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