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THE INVESTOR

Retail & Consumer

Borny recalls Outlast air mattresses over rash

  • PUBLISHED :June 07, 2017 - 18:02
  • UPDATED :June 07, 2017 - 18:02
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[THE INVESTOR] Baby goods maker Borny Korea has recalled its line of products made with the Outlast material after receiving reports the material’s powder coating can cause rashes. 

On June 7, the company posted an official apology from its President Hong Seong-woo via its website.

“We began selling the products without suspicion because the material had been certified as safe, passed through customs without problems and had passed all safety inspections in Korea for children’s products,” the statement read.

Outlast is a material “originally designed for NASA to protect astronauts from temperature fluctuation in space,” according to the Outlast Technologies website. The material is used in bedding, apparel, footwear and seating products.

Hong said the company will be recalling, refunding and exchanging its Outlast products, according to the law, and Hong himself will be resigning from his position.

Mothers who had been using Borny’s air mattresses made with Outlast posted photos on social media showing their babies’ rashes. Several of them said they had taken their children to the hospital but had found no remedy.

In Borny air mattresses and apparel, the material was used to regulate the body temperature of babies.

The rash is reported to be caused by a powder coating on the Outlast material, which Borny described on its website as designed “to protect against germs and bacteria.” 

Borny said that the powder is currently undergoing additional tests at the FITI Testing and Research Institute, which specializes in testing and inspecting textile and fashion products. 

Despite the company’s offer to recall and refund all of its products, mothers on social media platforms such as Instagram were pushing for a boycott of all Borny products, taking issue with the company’s initial response.

Until its official apology on June 7, Borny had denied the products could have harmful side effects. Screenshots posted to Instagram show customer service representatives telling mothers they would even “eat” the powder, calling it “safer than air.”

“I’m so afraid that this will become like the Oxy crisis,” one commenter wrote on an online community for mothers with young children, referring to the humidifier sanitizer sold by Oxy Reckitt-Benckiser in Korea that was linked to the deaths of about 100 people. 

By Won Ho-jung/The Korea Herald (hjwon@heraldcorp.com)
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