Netherlands based producer of healthcare equipment Philips N.V. (AS: PHG) has recalled some ventilators and breathing devices citing a foam part that might degrade and become toxic posing a potential threat of causing cancer.
The foam is used to dampen the sound produced by the machines, this foam degrades and it can turn into small, inhaled particles and irritating airways. Gases released from the degradation can be very toxic and comes with a cancer risk.
It is from this basis that the company decided to announce the recall. The company’s chief executive officer, Frans van Houten, announced the recall further saying between two and four million sleep apnea machines and ventilators will be affected by the recall.
“We’re going to put all our capacity to focus entirely on replacing and repairing these units. It has a consequence that we will not be able to serve new customers, so there’s going to be a shortage in the field,” said the CEO.
Citing the guidance of the company, this recall is for users of so called CPAP machines, the machines help individuals with sleep apnea. Users of the machines have been urged to stop using it. About 66% of Philips CPAP machines are sold in the United States.