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CPSC duped by innerspring mattress industry


ISPA (Innerspring Mattress Manufacturers Association) went to the CPSC and asked for this law. This should tell you something.

We can only speculate ISPAs real reasons for wanting this law, but it seems clear the law will increase their revenue on the same number of unit sales, put specialty beds at a disadvantage compared to steel springs, and protect their turf from imports and smaller competition with high testing and compliance costs.

It may also be a battle between innerspring mattresses invented in 1871, and newer foam mattresses that have recently grown to over 20% of the market. It is relatively simple for innerspring mattress manufacturers who use quilted tickings to comply with the law. They simply replace standard polyester batting quilted under the ticking with polyester batting mixed with Modacrylic (with Antimony Oxide) fibers. It is more costly for companies like Tempur-Pedic who use thin unquilted tickings to maximize the comfort of the bed. They must now add a barrier at a larger additional cost that may also take away from the comfort of the beds.

 Look at Tempur-Pedic with recent sales of over 600 million, and now projecting over 800 million for next year. Plus look at all the Tempur knock-offs.

 Sealy is about 1.2 billion, Simmons about 800 million, Serta about 700 million, and Spring Air about 450 million in sales. It is no longer the four big S brands. Now a T brand is reaching a number two or three spot in market share.

 Leggett & Platt, a multi billion-dollar company also benefits from this law. They supply 93% of all the innerspring units used by all the mattress brands. They want to keep people sleeping on steel springs, which are relatively easier to fire proof than alternative sleep systems. Plus they will sell more metal wire foundations and put smaller suppliers of built-up wood foundations out of business, including Amish suppliers.

 Interestingly, Leggett & Platt, Sealy, and Serta all recently withdrew their membership from ISPA. It appears there is some dissention within ISPA over this law as smaller manufacturers are realizing it could hurt their business, could harm public health, and create legal liabilities from people harmed by the chemicals required in mattresses under the new law.

 Plus, big chemical companies including DuPont, Owens Corning, GE, and barrier suppliers are licking their lips in anticipation of new revenues under the new law. They also try to tell you their systems are safe. In fact, there are huge risks that need to be considered. 

 The CPSC is being duped by the interests of big business pushing for this law for their own benefit. This is about money, not saving lives.