SoClean Files Suit Against PAP Maker Philips
Last updated: April 2022
By now, you've likely heard that the CPAP manufacturing company, Philips, has recalled millions of its sleep-breathing devices due to potential problems with degradation of the foam used to muffle machine noise.
In their recall notice, Philips stated that the problem of foam breakdown could be "exacerbated by use of unapproved cleaning methods, such as ozone."1
They later repeated the same warning in a subsequent update on the recall sent to healthcare providers.2
SoClean Inc, a supplier of ozone-based sanitizing systems, has taken issue with that statement, filing a lawsuit in October 2021.
About the SoClean lawsuit
They claim that Philips is "pointing the finger at SoClean's ozone cleaners to divert attention away from Philips' poor choice of materials and obvious design flaws."2
The lawsuit – seeking more than $200 million in damages – comes after SoClean reported plummeting sales, a tarnished reputation, and loss of industry goodwill.2
The company also insists that the problem of degrading foam in Philips' machines had been previously confirmed by the CPAP manufacturer to be caused by contact with high humidity or water, and not ozone.2
About CPAP sanitizing systems
For many CPAP users, daily washing may be inconvenient. New products now exist to sanitize PAP in a way that simplifies machine care, cleaning, and maintenance.
Most of these use an activated ozone technology to automatically clean and dry parts of your sleep apnea equipment.
Using this kind of sanitizing system involves placing certain parts of the CPAP into an enclosed receptacle, which, when closed, applies activated ozone gas as a way to sanitize the parts held inside.
SoClean is just one of several brands using this technology to sanitize CPAP. Other brands include Purify 03, Sleep8, VirtuCLEAN, the Zoey, and others.3
Meanwhile, a different strategy, using UV-C light technology to sanitize CPAP, has also entered the marketplace.3
Should you be concerned?
If you use an ozone-based sanitizing system to clean your CPAP, you may have heard this claim and wondered whether it is safe to continue using yours.
It's important to note that both kinds of systems mentioned here (using ozone or UV light) are not authorized by the FDA to clean, disinfect, or sanitize PAP devices and accessories.4
"The FDA has not evaluated the safety and effectiveness of ozone gas or UV light products claiming to clean, sanitize or disinfect CPAP machines and accessories in the home or healthcare setting," the agency wrote in a safety communication published in 2020.4
It's ultimately your decision whether to continue use of your PAP cleaning equipment. If you aren't sure what to do, your best bet is to talk to your sleep physician about the need to use any kind of sanitizing system for CPAP care and maintenance.
Cleaning your CPAP
Meanwhile, keeping your CPAP machine clean is critical for both your health and safety and the functionality of your device. Manual cleaning is still the most common and affordable way to keep your machine sanitized and safe for use nightly operation.
For advice and tips on cleaning your device, please check out our CPAP maintenance page, which covers routine cleaning and care, to get the most out of your therapy.
Disclosure: The author of this article is a former SoClean user.
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