News 4 Investigates: The danger lurking in your mattress

Imagine feeling tiny shards of glass in your bed, your clothes, your towels on pretty much every surface in your home.
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 6:01 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Imagine feeling tiny shards of glass in your bed, your clothes, your towels, and on pretty much every surface in your home.

There are tiny, airborne particles everywhere! The culprit is what you sleep on. One local family is now out of their home and they have a warning for everyone.

“It’s a living nightmare,” said Amanda Chandler.

On their children’s beds, on their couch and on their clothes, there are tiny glitter-like pieces of fiberglass.

Robert Durham and Amanda Chandler said they are devastated by a danger that they said came from their child’s memory foam mattress.

“Everything is destroyed,” said Robert Durham. “You never would have thought that by taking off a cover, you would destroy thousands of dollars of stuff and your whole life.”

It all started when their 4-year-old son said he was itchy, so they took the top cover off his mattress and put it in the wash. One tear in the inner cover then released thousands of particles.

“I never thought they would make a bed out of fiberglass, ever,” said Chandler.

They’d never noticed the mattress tag, showing that inner cover was 62% glass fiber.

“It creates little cuts on your skin,” said Scott Green with AdvantaClean of Madison County.

Green has dealt with fiberglass before. He said it is common in furnace filters and insulation, and he said it is put in mattresses on purpose to make them more fire-resistant.

But when it gets disrupted, it can go everywhere, creating a nightmare for people it comes in contact with.

“People will experience eye irritation, throat, you may sneeze a lot, you may cough, you may have a tickle in your throat. It’s likely the fiberglass has gotten in your body,” Green said.

But cleaning it up is a huge job that can cost big bucks.

“Depending on the situation, it would range from thousands to possibly tens of thousands of dollars,” Green said.

Experts say fiberglass released from a mattress ought to be cleaned up by a professional. In fact, Robert and Amanda were told to stay away from their home, unless they and their children wore protective clothing and masks.

“Put masks on them as well, how do you do that with children?” Robert asked.

Robert got choked up about the whole situation, worried for his family. At first, their insurance company denied their claim to clean up the fiberglass.

But after News 4 and an attorney got involved, there was a change of course. This week, News 4 cameras were there as an insurance inspector went inside the home.

Still, Robert and Amanda are far from alone.

A family in the Phoenix area had to move out of their home, throwing almost everything out. Videos on YouTube show others complaining as well.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website also lists more than a dozen complaints about fiberglass in people’s mattresses.

“It’s a hazard for anyone, a child, grownup, it’s a hazard,” Robert said.

News 4 reached out to Zinus, the company that makes the mattress.

They referred News 4 to their website which says, “Removing the mattress cover could jeopardize that system. The mattress cover isn’t washable, and removing it could inhibit the fire safety barrier, so please always leave the cover on.”

Robert and Amanda said the mattress cover had a zipper and they said they didn’t see any instructions not to remove it. Now they want to warn others.

“Don’t purchase them, it’s really not worth it,” said Robert.

News 4 reached out to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. They sent a statement, saying, in part:

“CPSC staff is not aware of any health risks from the type of fiberglass used in textiles. This is a larger diameter continuous fiber.

The type of fiberglass used in household insulation, which has shorter narrower fibers, may cause skin irritation on contact, or throat irritation if inhaled.

Any concerns should be reported to”

Still, Robert and Amanda said they felt health effects from the fiberglass in their home.