South Korea`s nuclear commission said on Wednesday it will expand the ongoing probe of Daijin Bed mattresses found to have contained radioactive material above the standard into other living items manufactured with the same ingredient and negative ion-releasing products.
The decision comes after the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission found the radioactive levels of radon in seven Daijin mattresses were up to 9.3 times above the tolerance standard.
The commission said it will investigate how rare earth monazite was distributed to the bed maker and whether there are any products made with the material. Preliminary investigations found that Daijin Bed’s supplier imported 2,960㎏ of monazite for the last four years and provided them to 66 customers.
All products from the 66 manufactures will be traced for possible safety concerns, the commission said. So far, only seven Daijin mattresses have been found to have contained radioactive material. The material was detected from negative ion powder sprayed onto the inner layers of the mattress sponges. The powder was made from monazite concentrates, including uranium and thorium. When uranium or thorium decays, radon is released, which is considered a health hazard due to its radioactivity.
The commission will also collect other mattress models from Daijin to evaluate their annual radiation dose.
Meanwhile, over 1,600 consumers have joined the move to file a suit against the Korean bed maker as of Wednesday.
By Kim Yoon-jin and Minu Kim
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