Ionizing mattresses pulled from shelves

By Chen Yi-chia and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Wed, Sep 12, 2018 - Page 3

The government has ordered two manufacturers to pull ionizing mattresses that emit harmful levels of radiation from shelves, the Atomic Energy Council said yesterday.

After the South Korean government in May pulled mattresses made by Daijin Bed Co from its markets for having unsafe radiation levels, the Executive Yuan ordered inspections of mattresses branded as ionizing, council official Liu Wen-hsi (劉文熙) told a news conference in Taipei.

Daijin Bed’s mattresses utilized monazite powder and users were exposed to 1 to 9.3 sieverts of radiation, he said, citing South Korean government data.

Although ionizing mattresses are not imported into Taiwan, the council inspected the nation’s nine manufacturers of the mattresses, including Bottony Biotechnology Co and Zanyi International Enterprises Co, whose products failed radiation safety standards, Liu said.

Bottony’s and Zanyi’s mattresses would expose users to 76.83 sieverts and 3.65 sieverts per year respectively, exceeding the legal standard of 1 sievert per year, he said.

While the dosages were deemed low, there was sufficient cause for the council to inform the Consumer Protection Committee and the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection, he added.

As the regulations on the control of natural radiative substances are concerned with construction materials, such as ceramic tiles and minerals, the council would review the necessity of drafting new regulations for substances used in ionizing products, Liu said.

The two companies have been ordered to report to the committee in two weeks on their progress, committee Director-General Liu Ching-fang (劉清芳) said, adding that failure to comply would result in fines of between NT$60,000 and NT$1.5 million (US$1,947 and US$48,679).

The committee has been investigating all entities involved in the manufacturing process and has confiscated 347 unfinished products from upstream manufacturer Gold Rabbit Co, she said.

A Golden Rabbit official surnamed Wu (吳) said the firm produced ionizing mattresses according to clients’ specifications, adding that its main products are ordinary mattresses.

The provider of the mineral powders used in the product had not informed Golden Rabbit at any point in their five-year business relationship that the substances were radioactive, Wu said, adding that he felt “deceived.”