WASHINGTON—Federal safety regulators are urging consumers to stop using baby pillows that have been linked to 10 infant deaths but are still being sold on Facebook Marketplace, despite being recalled two years ago.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said Tuesday that Boppy Newborn Loungers are no longer legally for sale but it has found thousands of them on Facebook Marketplace since the 2021 recall began.
The agency wrote to Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook parent Meta Platforms, on Tuesday saying it had made repeated requests to have recalled items taken down from Marketplace. It cited the Boppy loungers as “a particularly egregious example” of a product that puts consumers at risk.
“Until these sales are stopped, babies will continue to be at risk of death,” CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka said in a statement. He added that Meta “has not taken effective action” in response to CPSC’s average of one thousand takedown requests made each month over the last year for the Boppy loungers.
The Boppy Co. recalled more than 3 million of its infant pillows due to suffocation risk in September 2021—with reports of eight deaths associated with Boppy’s loungers between 2015 and 2020. The CSPC said Tuesday that two additional babies died shortly after the recall began.
The CSPC is urging consumers to stop using the recalled loungers—as babies can suffocate if they roll over, are placed on the lounger in a position that restricts breathing or move off the infant pillow.
Meta’s online policy states that listings on Marketplace cannot promote or sell recalled products and encourages users to check current recalls before purchasing items. The company says that Marketplace posts featuring recalled products are removed when identified.
“Like other platforms where people can buy and sell goods, there are instances of people knowingly or unknowingly selling recalled goods on Marketplace,” Meta said in a statement. “We take this issue seriously and when we find listings that violate our rules, we remove them.”
CPSC said it has also made similar takedown requests to other online secondhand marketplaces and for other recalled products, including the recalled Fisher Price Rock ’n Play sleepers, which have also been linked to infant deaths.
The Boppy loungers under recall are Boppy Original Newborn Loungers, Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers and Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Loungers. The products were sold online and at retailers nationwide, including Target and Walmart, between January 2004 and September 2021, according to the CPSC’s original recall notice. Consumers can contact The Boppy Company to get a refund and for instructions for how to dispose of the products.
“CPSC continues to emphasize that the best place for a baby to sleep is on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet, or play yard,” the agency said in its Tuesday notice. “Parents and caregivers should never add blankets, pillows, padded crib bumpers, or other items to an infant’s sleeping environment. Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs.”
The Associated Press reached out to The Boppy Co. for further comment Tuesday.
By Wyatte Grantham-Philips