Fiberglass is a popular fire retardant and is thus used widely in many memory foam mattresses. However, recently a few cases of mattress fiberglass contaminating homes have left many people concerned about safety.
So, Is Fiberglass in Mattresses Safe?
Well, as there are reported cases of negative effects, it’s quite natural that under such circumstances, people would ask if fiberglass in mattresses is safe? In this article, we will try to answer that concern in-depth.
Why do mattresses have fiberglass?
Mattresses in the USA must contain fire retardants, and fiberglass is often the best option since its affordable and does not release any toxic chemicals.
Of course, other fire retardants are also used, but it was only recently discovered that many of these materials are damaging human health. Thus, it’s important to check the Certi-PUR US certification or any other such certification that assures the mattress’s safety.
It’s crucial for memory foam mattresses to have fire retardants; otherwise, the mattress will get highly inflammable. When fiberglass is used, it melts into itself without burning, thereby forming an impenetrable layer that keeps the users safe from the fire.
Is fiberglass in mattresses safe?
If you have fiberglass in your mattress as a fire barrier, you must carefully handle the mattress cover. To make matters worse, the hair-thin fiberglass fibers can escape the mattress if it’s not adequately covered.
In such cases, the fiberglass fibers can spread over your bed and in other areas of your home. Even after multiple thorough cleaning sessions, you still have some fiberglass in the nooks and corners that are difficult to clean.
Fiberglass, if spread around a room, can be dangerous to your health as it may cause skin and eye irritation, sore throat, and aggravate asthma and bronchitis problems. The only way to save yourself from such contamination is by opting for a durable mattress with a strong cover that will not tear and let out the fiberglass.
Features of a mattress that has fiberglass:
Now, if you want to buy a mattress with fire retardants other than fiberglass, you need to look for some tell-tale signs. Thankfully there are a few ways to determine whether or not the foam has fiberglass:
If a mattress has removable covers, then it’s a piece of good news; however, such covers might also contain other types of inexpensive fire blockers like glass wool.
Where is fiberglass placed inside a mattress?
Ideally, the fire blocking material should be around the foam so as to protect it in the event of a fire. A mattress with fiberglass will mostly have the glass fibers well knitted in an inside corner and not on the outer cover.
This is done to ensure that the users don’t come in direct contact with the chars. It’s advisable not to remove the cover of a mattress that has fiberglass; otherwise, it might get released in the air causing all sorts of trouble.
Cleaning mattress with fiberglass
Mattresses get stained with use, and thus cleaning them from time to time becomes necessary. However, if you know that your mattress contains fiberglass and you have to clean it, make sure you never remove the cover.
It’s advisable to use a spot cleaner instead and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In case you don’t have a spot cleaner, use a mix of soap and water for targeted cleaning.
You can also use baking soda on the stains. Baking soda is ideal for removing liquid stains, especially urine. However, it’s a time-consuming process, and you must leave it sprinkled on the stain for at least 24 hours to get good results.
It’s also advisable to use a waterproof mattress protector as a topper to protect your mattress from stains.
Dangers of fiberglass in mattress
As mentioned earlier, manufacturers weave the fiberglass fibers in the mattress. This either can be in the corner or underneath. In case these fiberglass fibers go loose, they will cause inflammatory disease among children and adults.
Many users who have come in contact with fiberglass fibers say that coming in contact with this material causes skin irritation. Besides, the fibers can cause microscopic cuts and cause skin, eyes, and airway irritation. The symptoms can get worse for those with respiratory issues.
This is a form of skin rash that one gets when exposed to some form of irritant. Though this condition is not contagious or dangerous, it does cause irritation and discomfort. The tiny fiberglass particles cause skin irritation. The best cure for this is using a wet compress and anti-itch ointments.
As these fiberglass fibers are airborne, they can quickly enter the respiratory tract and cause breathing trouble. These can also cut tissues and penetrate organs. Thus site workers working with fiberglass wear safety gear. The tell-tale sign of a fiberglass attack on the respiratory tract is irritated throat, lungs, nasal passage.
According to The National Toxicology Program (NTP) in the US, fiberglass dust is a recognized carcinogen amongst humans. Thus the organization mandates masks for home constructors while handling fiberglass.
Advantages of using fiberglass free mattresses
As it can be seen from the above discussion, mattresses containing fiberglass pose many dangers. However, all these can be avoided by using a fiberglass-free mattress. There are many advantages of using such mattresses, and thus many people are making the shift. Here are a few popular advantages:
Tips to remove fiberglass from your bedroom
Even after being cautious at every step with your fiberglass mattress, you might have to remove the cover someday, or maybe do so by accident. This will lead to the fiberglass fibers escaping. However, there are steps you can use to control this spreading. However, it’s advisable to wear a protective mask cover before beginning.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do most mattresses have fiberglass?
Yes, most memory foam mattresses have fiberglass. Since it’s a cheap and non-toxic material, its usage is not regulated through any restrictions. Though there are some mattresses available that don’t use fiberglass, it’s advisable to opt for organic options. Organic mattresses mostly use plant fiber fabric as fire blockers.
What to do if there is fiberglass in mattresses?
If you have removed the mattress cover of a fiberglass mattress, it’s advisable to get rid of the mattress. This is because the fiberglass fibers can even penetrate waterproof bed casings. If you spot the fiberglass on the bed surface, you can claim replacement or refund from the manufacturer.
Indeed many people are unaware of the risks that originate from fiberglass mattresses. This article mentions that fiberglass mattresses can lead to respiratory diseases, skin and eye irritation, and much more. This piece has covered all that you need to know about fiberglass mattresses and how you can handle them better.