More radioactive mattresses found, this time from Sealy

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More radioactive mattresses found, this time from Sealy

Another mattress company has issued a recall after a Korean nuclear authority investigation found harmful levels of radioactive material in its memory foam mattresses.

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission announced Wednesday that it ordered Sealy Korea to recall six of its memory foam mattress models - Violet, Cygnus, Pegasus, Majesty Deluxe, Veloce and Hospitality Europe Top - after they were found to emit radiation levels that exceeded the official tolerance level of 1 millisievert per year by up to four times.

All six models, sold between January 2014 and November 2016, were found to contain the mineral monazite, which emits a colorless, odorless radioactive gas known as radon. Radon exposure is associated with higher risks of lung cancer.

Sealy Korea began recalling the 357 mattresses it had sold in those models and offering refunds and free exchanges from Thursday. The company said it is also recalling 140 mattresses from three additional models - Allegro, Canna and Morendo - that used the same memory foam and were manufactured around the same time period.

“The original equipment manufacturer [OEM] that we worked with between 2014 and 2016 mistakenly used memory foam material that we had not requested,” said a Sealy press officer.

“Since establishing our own manufacturing plant in November 2016, we’ve been making all our products ourselves. We’ve also worked together with radon experts and public institutions including the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission to regularly check for safety.”

Sealy Korea is a Korean mattress manufacturer under the popular U.S. bedding brand Tempur Sealy International. No similar instances of radon contamination have been reported by affiliates in other countries.

Sealy’s recall comes less than a year after the nuclear commission confirmed the discovery of harmful radon levels in mattresses made by Korean company Daijin Bed last May.

Although the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards reported after the Daijin scandal broke that 49 unspecified mattress makers it inspected did not use radioactive materials, Sealy is not believed to have been among those checked.


BY KIM EUN-JIN [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]

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