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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Cesar Collado is a former pharmaceutical R&D senior executive, venture capitalist, and seasoned strategy consultant in biotechnology and technology industries in general. He currently works as an advisor to multiple technology start-ups and advises several companies with technology solutions, including companies that provide healthcare and other services for environmental illness.
Cesar worked with MicroBalance Health Products from 2014-2019, where he had responsibility for strategy, revenues, marketing, and finance, as well as, writing all original content for the company’s newsletters during his tenure. Cesar is passionate about awareness and treatment of environmental illness as a significant, unmet and misdiagnosed, medical need. He has partnered with Integrative Physicians, Bau-Biologists, Environmental Inspectors, Mold Remediators, HVAC IAQ Specialists, and other professionals to generate educational materials for the environmentally ill. Cesar currently writes original content for ImmunoLytics, Bio-Balance, and CitriSafe: Protocols and Products for a Healthy Life.