Two More Deaths Linked to Recalled Baby Lounger Still for Sale on Facebook Marketplace

Two more infant deaths were linked to the Boppy Newborn Lounger pillow, bringing the total to 10. The pillows were recalled in 2021, but it is still being sold on Facebook Marketplace. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission sent a letter to Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg, asking that the social media platform remove these illegal sales.

The recall was first issued on Sept. 23, 2021, after eight infant deaths were linked to the product. The infants reportedly suffocated after they were put on their back, side, or stomach on the lounger. They were later found on their side or on their stomach. The recall covered all Boppy Newborn Loungers sold between January 2004 and September 2021. About 3.3 million loungers were sold at retailers across the U.S., with another 35,000 distributed in Canada. The Boppy Company is still offering refunds for the recalled loungers.

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(Photo: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)

"These types of incidents are heartbreaking," then-CPSC Chairman Robert S. Adler said in September 2021. "Loungers and pillow-like products are not safe for infant sleep, due to the risk of suffocation. Since we know that infants sleep so much of the time – even in products not intended for sleep – and since suffocation can happen so quickly, these Boppy lounger products are simply too risky to remain on the market."

The CPSC re-issued the 2021 recall notice to remind consumers to stop using the pillows immediately after two additional deaths were reported. However, it is illegal for the loungers to be sold at retail. The agency is concerned about the "strong secondhand market" for the loungers on Facebook Marketplace.

In its letter to Zuckerberg, the agency noted that it has submitted formal requests that Meta takes down the listings, but nothing has happened, reports USA Today. "In the past year, CPSC has formally requested – on average about one thousand times a month – that Meta take down listings for the Boppy Newborn Lounger from Facebook Marketplace," the letter reads. "Despite these repeated requests, sales of the Boppy Newborn Lounger on the platform continue."

The CPSC warned that the sale of these products is illegal, even if the product is used. "Each year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announces the recall of hundreds of products that pose a risk of injury and potentially death to consumers," the letter reads. "Far too often, the CPSC has found those products listed for sale on Facebook Marketplace even after recall information has been provided to your company. We call on you to identify recalled and violative products and to prevent their listing by your users. By allowing such products to be posted, you are putting Facebook Marketplace users at risk."

This has been an ongoing problem for the CPSC and safety advocates. They have tried for years to get Facebook to stop allowing users to sell recalled products, especially those recalled for safety concerns involving infants. Just two months ago, CPSC Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric wrote to Facebook about the listings for the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play. The product was recalled in April 2019 after it was linked to about 100 infant deaths, but Hoehn-Saric said there had been eight more deaths linked to it since the recall. The agency found nearly 4,000 listings of the sleeper on resale sights over 13 months. Hoehn-Saric noted that Facebook does remove some listings, but it's impossible to know how many were sold before a listing could be pulled.

Meta spokeswoman Ashley Settle told USA Today the company is aware of the letter and there are cases of "people knowingly selling recalled goods" on Facebook Marketplace. "We take this issue seriously and when we find listings that violate our rules, we remove them," Settle said.