NATIONAL

Researchers call for reevaluation of damage from radioactive bed mattresses

By Yonhap
  • Published : Jun 19, 2018 - 14:56
  • Updated : Jun 19, 2018 - 14:56

South Korean researchers on Tuesday called for a reevaluation of the amount of radiation that may have been emitted by mattresses amid a nationwide recall of the problematic products.

Over 22,000 bed mattresses produced by Daijin Bed Co. -- which are known to emit radon, a colorless radioactive material -- have been collected nationwide.

"The amount of radiation exposure announced before is based on a simple model and a hypothesis," said Lee Jae-ki, chief of the Korean Association for Radiation Protection, adding that radioactive mattresses needed to be reevaluated based on each model and environment.

Mattresses produced by Daijin Bed Co. are piled up at an open storage yard in Dangjin port, South Chungcheong Province, Saturday. (Yonhap)

Radon is a radioactive, colorless and odorless gas that can be found in nature as an indirect decay product of uranium or thorium. It is considered a health hazard due to its radioactivity and exposure to the radioactive gas can cause lung cancer.

The remarks were made during an open debate hosted by the association that has more than 1,600 experts as members.

Earlier, the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission announced that some of Daijin's mattresses released radon up to 9.3 times above the national standard.

Lee further voiced the need to come up with a nationwide database with more details related to duration of exposure to the products and physical types of people who used them.

Daijin Bed apologized for the incident and said it is in the process of recalling the products cited for releasing radon from all stores. The company shut down all stores it directly operated amid the unfolding scandal. Despite the actions taken, some consumers have filed lawsuits against the company for jeopardizing their health. (Yonhap)