New California Bill Would Ban Fiberglass from Use in Mattresses

As ISPA has previously reported to members, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has received numerous complaints from consumers exposed to fiberglass when they removed the covers from mattresses made with fiberglass-containing fire barrier fabrics. Consumers have also filed class action lawsuits against manufacturers whose mattresses were the source of some of this fiberglass exposure. 

California Assemblymember Laura Friedman has responded to these issues by introducing AB 1059, which would ban the use of fiberglass in mattresses sold in the state. To our knowledge, this is the first bill of its kind. The bill does not specify when the law would take effect, if enacted.  

AB 1059 is supported by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit consumer advocacy group. In a press release accompanying the introduction of AB 1059, EWG cites the pending mattress/fiberglass class action litigation as justification for this legislation. EWG also cites a study conducted by the California Department of Public Health that found fiberglass fragments on the interior of certain tested mattresses, but not on their exterior surfaces. 

The proposed legislation does not distinguish between the different methods in which fiberglass is used. It also makes no exception for products in which the material is physically inaccessible to consumers, as is common with other laws that regulate the use of certain materials in consumer products, including mattresses. 

ISPA will monitor both this legislation and bills introduced in other state legislatures that might follow Assemblymember Friedman’s lead and will seek reasonable amendments to AB 1059.