Medical device company Philips announced a recall of millions of sleep apnea machines and ventilators because a material used inside them could put users at risk of cancer or other health issues.
According to a statement from the company, there are potential health risks related to “sound abatement foam” used in their Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), BiLevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiLevel PAP) devices, and mechanical ventilators.
Philips is advising patients not to stop or alter any prescribed therapy until told to do so by a doctor. They are notifying customers of a repair and replacement program.
The polyester-based polyurethane sound abatement foam used in the devices is causing the concern. The foam can degrade and cause harmful effects when cleaned in the wrong way, or when exposed to high heat and humidity.
Philips says exposure to the particulates can cause “Irritation (skin, eye, and respiratory tract), inflammatory response, headache, asthma, adverse effects to other organs (e.g. kidneys and liver) and toxic carcinogenic affects (sic).” They have received “several complaints” of some of these symptoms.
There have been no reports of deaths at this time.
For the full list of recalled products, click here.