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ToxicTrailers.com was launched after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when the government spent more than $2 billion on FEMA trailers with high levels of formaldehyde that sickened thousands of people. The FEMA trailer tragedy exposed what is a widespread problem in RVs, mobile homes, modular buildings and even conventional buildings that use pressed wood products. Unfortunately, as we approach the tenth anniversary of Katrina, formaldehyde regulations are not being enforced in the U.S., and people's health is at risk. If you are having burning eyes, congestion, sore throat, coughing, breathing difficulties, frequent sinus infections or rashes, and difficulties concentrating, you may have a formaldehyde problem. For questions or to share your story, write 4becky@cox.net.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Formaldehyde in mattresses from China could be huge problem

How many mattresses from China are imported to the U.S.? Sounds like there could be a big problem with formaldehyde in these mattresses. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/beijing/2013-04/15/content_16402274.htm Mattress makers get wake-up call Updated: 2013-04-15 /By Chen Xin (China Daily) Half of the mattresses sold in Beijing are substandard, the city's consumer watchdog said on Sunday. Of the 50 products tested at the National Center for Quality Supervision and Inspection of Furniture and Indoor Environment, 25 failed for such things as color fading, fabric use, toxic substances and durability. Samples were taken from 50 manufacturers in Beijing and Tianjin, as well as Hebei, Shandong, Guangdong, Guizhou and Zhejiang provinces. Thirteen were palm fiber mattresses and the others were spring mattresses. ...The formaldehyde content in some products was 30 times acceptable levels, according to Liu Hailing, a division chief overseeing indoor environmental inspection at the center. Under the national standard, formaldehyde emissions from a mattress may not exceed 0.05 milligrams per square meter per hour. "Inhaling formaldehyde could cause constriction in the chest and coughing, and other respiratory diseases. It could also lead to cancers and leukemia in children if the exposure to the formaldehyde is lengthy," said Zhao Ping, vice-president of the Cancer Foundation of China. The consumer association said it informed the manufacturers of the substandard mattresses and commerce authorities are investigating. Qu Shengping, general manager of Beijing Hongdameidi, whose products showed excessive formaldehyde and weak durability in testing, admitted they used cheap glue and fabric to produce mattresses. Qu said the sample the Beijing Consumer Association tested was from the inventory. "We received the test results from the association in February, and, actually, we did not put that batch of products on the market," he said. The test results showed that a product of Beijing Yasili, another furniture producer, was substandard in color fading resistance, fabric used, formaldehyde content and durability. Chen, general manager of Yasili, said the association had the product tested early this year but it took the sample from the company in June last year. "In fact, some customers had called us and complained that the mattresses gave off bad odors and we refunded their purchases," he said. Chen said they recalled those mattresses from dealers at the end of November. "The mattress makers involved should compensate customers, and commerce authorities should fine them," said Ge Youshan, a lawyer who specializes in consumer rights. "More serious penalties, such as suspending or revoking their business licenses, could be used if producers continue to make substandard goods." chenxin1@chinadaily.com.cn This article seems to indicate quite a few mattresses in the U.S. originate in China. Chemicals in the crib December 28, 2012|By Patricia Callahan and Michael Hawthorne, Chicago Tribune reporters Three popular brands of baby mattresses that were marketed in recent months to families and day care centers contained toxic flame retardants linked to increased cancer risk, according to laboratory tests conducted for the Chicago Tribune. One member of that family of chemicals, known collectively as chlorinated tris, was removed from children's pajamas over cancer concerns a generation ago. Yet that same flame retardant turned up in significant amounts in 11 baby mattresses sold recently by national and local retailers under the Babies R Us, Foundations and Angeles brands. Two other mattresses made by Angeles contained a related form of tris. While furniture-makers often add flame retardants to the polyurethane foam cushioning in sofas and upholstered chairs, the test results on infant mattresses surprised and alarmed some scientists who have studied the chemicals. Babies and even toddlers can spend 12 or more hours a day in a crib, and foam mattresses can meet federal fire-safety rules without the use of chemicals.