On June 14, Philips issued a voluntary recall for specific Philips Respironics devices. These include CPAP and BPAP devices to treat obstructive sleep apnea.

Most of the recalled devices are first-generation DreamStation products. The newer DreamStation 2 is not affected.

Unsafe Foam

The recall is related to the type of foam used to reduce the noise made by the devices. Over time, the foam inside the machine may fall apart into black particles. These particles can enter the humidifier, tubing and mask. As a result, you may inhale the particles when using the device. Philips reports that the potential risks to you include:

  • headache
  • skin or eye irritation
  • asthma

Testing by Philips also found that the foam can produce unsafe chemical levels. These “volatile organic compounds” are released as gases. Testing results suggest these emissions taper off during the initial days of use of a new device. Exposure to VOCs may cause problems such as:

  • irritation of the airway
  • headache or dizziness
  • skin, eye or nose irritation
  • nausea or vomiting

Philips reports that in 2020 the complaint rate for foam particles was low (0.03%). To date, there have been no reports of death. Philips has received no complaints related to chemical exposure.

Philips has begun a process to repair and replace affected devices