For those new to this website:
Tamara Rubin is a multiple-federal-award-winning independent advocate for childhood Lead poisoning prevention and consumer goods safety, and a documentary filmmaker. She is also a mother of Lead-poisoned children (two of her sons were acutely Lead-poisoned in 2005). Since 2009, Tamara has been using XRF technology (a scientific method used by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) to test consumer goods for toxicants (specifically heavy metals — including Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Antimony, and Arsenic). All test results reported on this website are science-based, accurate, and replicable. Items are tested multiple times to confirm the test results for each component tested. Tamara’s work was featured in Consumer Reports Magazine in February of 2023 (March 2023 print edition).
January 18, 2022 — Tuesday
I will be publishing a full thread of all of my e-mails with the CertiPUR-US foam agency here on the website as soon as I have a moment (possibly later today). In the meantime, please read all three sections below AND if you have purchased a piece of furniture with CertiPUR-US-certified foam, and assumed that meant that the foam would be Lead-free (based on the marketing language around the product), please feel free to e-mail Michael about this directly. His e-mail is below in the letters and e-mails. I would also appreciate it if you would publish your e-mails here (as a comment on this article), so that we collect several such statements in one place. Thank you.
First I want to say that Medley has been doing an excellent job in responding to the concerns of Lead-contamination found in the CertiPUR-certified foam in their seat cushions. I have spoken with the owners (via Zoom) and been in fairly constant e-mail contact with them since I first published my findings (you can read those findings here on this link). Medley sent me a response to my readers to publish on January 9th, but I did not agree with all of the language and so we have been going back and forth a bit fine-tuning that for clarity and accuracy (while they simultaneously and quite deftly continue to remedy the situation with impacted customers.) My last communication with Medley was yesterday and they told me they are going to try to get me a letter to publish on my website today (and we will likely speak on the phone later today.)
Three important points of note:
- Medley’s own recent independent lab testing of the foam used on the seat cushions did confirm low-level trace Lead contamination consistent with my findings [“trace” in this case being over 100 ppm].
- One of my readers did dust-wipe sampling testing of her sofa (that I had tested and found to be positive); those dust wipes came back negative — so the good news is that the presence of the trace Lead in these cushions DOES NOT appear to have created a dust hazard concern at this point.
- Medley confirmed the issue is (consistent with my findings) only in the seat cushions – not in the other components – and they are offering replacement seat cushions for customers impacted. I believe they are likely also trying to identify a batch-specific range of products that may have been impacted.
The letter I received today from the foam folks:
Today I received an e-mail (a very formal e-mail — with obvious apparent input from a legal team) from the CertiPUR certification folks. Please realize this is a certification nonprofit founded to benefit an arm of the petrochemical industry (foam production), and needs to be understood within that context… Proposed new title for this post?: “Petrochemical industry representative attempts to mansplain to vagina-wielding [award-winning] environmental activist” (oh, I think I will make that my new headline on this if I reissue this post!)
The following point is very important:
I do not agree with many (most?) of the statements in their letter, and I especially do not agree with the words they have “asked” to be put in my mouth in response to their veiled threat – a threat in the form of an overt (and inappropriate) demand that I remove language from this website. [Side note: it sounds like they have done absolutely no research into my work!] I have addressed that in detail in a letter to Michael with CertiPUR-US which is below (in part three of this article), please read my full response.
You can click on any of these images below to see a full-size PDF of the original letter. I may respond in more detail soon – but I am on the road helping families this week, and felt it was prudent to get this letter and my response up immediately, given CertiPUR’s attempts to bully “the little guy” with their chosen language and “requests.”
Here is the e-mail cover note from CertiPUR this morning:
Here is the letter they sent with that cover note. The letter is two pages. If you click on the image below you will link to the full-two-page letter PDF:This is page 2 of their letter:
My response to the foam folks
Below is the text of my e-mailed response, followed by a screenshot of the e-mail.
You do realize that Medley confirmed my findings, right?