Mold in the News Series

Article 8: Product Recalls Due to Mold

Cesar Collado
Jan 5, 2024
Product Recalls

By Cesar Collado

Product recalls due to mold are often published in the news media. This happens quite often amongst a wide variety of products. In the Costco example, mattresses made by FXI and sold exclusively by Costco under the Novaform brand name were recalled due to mold.  The mattresses were sold at Costco stores in the San Francisco Bay region and the Northwest, as well as online on the retailer’s website.

Foam inside the mattress could have been exposed to water during manufacturing, allowing mold to develop — a potential health risk for people who are allergic to mold or who have compromised immune systems or damaged lungs. FXI received 541 reports from consumers of mold on the mattresses, according to the CPSC. 

A Wide Variety of Products Can Be Affected by Mold

Product recalls due to mold growth are not uncommon. Mold can grow on a variety of products if they are stored in damp conditions or if there is some moisture during the production or packaging process.

Recall Stamp

Food Products

Mold can grow on foods that aren’t adequately dried, stored, or packaged. Products like dried fruits, nuts, cheeses, bread, and even beverages like juice can sometimes contain mold. In some cases, this mold might produce mycotoxins, which can be harmful when ingested.

Example – August 25, 2020- Hostess Brands, LLC Expands Voluntary Recall of Certain Hostess® Raspberry Zingers® Due to the Potential for Mold

Appliances

Devices that deal with water or moisture, like dehumidifiers, humidifiers, or air conditioners, can be recalled if they foster mold growth due to design flaws.

Example – March 20, 2023 – Mercedes Benz Air Conditioning Recall Due to Mold 

Children’s Products

Toys, sippy cups, or teething products that can trap moisture might sometimes be recalled if mold growth is discovered, especially given the health risks to children.

Example – May 27, 2016 – Company (Mayborn USA) recalls spill-proof cups due to risk of mold that could cause sickness.

Cosmetics and Personal Care Items

Products like lotions, creams, or even makeup that have been contaminated with mold might be recalled due to the risks of topical or internal exposure.

Example – April 12, 2019 – Herbivore’s moldy face-cream recall at Sephora underscores an ugly issue for natural beauty.

Furniture and Home Goods

Items like mattresses, upholstery, or curtains can be recalled if they contain mold.

Example – January 19, 2018 – Bed Bath & Beyond just recalled about 175,000 Ugg Hudson comforters in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Health Products

Items like nebulizers, inhalers, or other health-related devices can be recalled if they are found to foster mold growth, given the direct risks to human health.

Example – July 21, 2016 – Nu Skin Recalls Mist Diffusers Due to Risk of Mold Exposure

Cannabis (Medicinal or Recreational)

The cannabis industry has experienced significant growth but has been plagued by mold issues due to the exceptional growing conditions used to grow cannabis and the lack of FDA regulation.

Example – June 27, 2023 – Cannabis flower batches recalled in Oregon due to mold and heavy metals.

Conclusions

The potential health risks of mold depend on the type of mold and the extent of exposure. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Common health effects include respiratory symptoms, allergic reactions, and in some cases, more severe reactions if the mold produces toxins.

It’s essential to be aware of recalls, especially for products you use or consume regularly. Regulatory agencies in various countries often maintain lists of recalled products on their websites. If you suspect a product you own has been recalled, checking these databases or the manufacturer’s official website can provide clarity.

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"Toxic Mold in the News" Series publishing weekly starting mid-November 2023.

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Toxic Mold in the News Part 1:

Mold in the News Series Introduction

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Toxic Mold in the News Part 2:

Fungal Infections Are a Growing Concern

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Toxic Mold in the News Part 3:

Candida Infections in the Brain

December 1, 2023

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Toxic Mold in the News Part 4:

Fungal Brain Infections

December 8, 2023

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Toxic Mold in the News Part 5:

The Link Between Mold Illness and Alzheimer’s

December 15, 2023

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Toxic Mold in the News Part 6:

2023 Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

December 22, 2023

Headline News

Toxic Mold in the News Part 7:

Common Plant Fungus Cross Species to Humans

December 29, 2023

Product Recalls

Toxic Mold in the News Part 8:

Product Recalls Due to Mold

January 5, 2023