Philips CPAP Cancer Risk: How Recalled Philips CPAP Machines May Cause Cancer

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted June 9, 2022


UPDATE 9/8/2022: Information has been added about a new Philips recall in 2022, which involves a potential risk of BiPAP machines causing cancer.

UPDATE 8/16/2022: FDA has released an update on reported cases with Philips CPAP machines causing cancer among former users. As of July 31, 2022, more than 69,000 medical device reports have been submitted involving problems from the foam breaking down inside the CPAP machine, including cancers, pneumonia, asthma and a range of other respiratory problems. The FDA also indicates there have been 168 deaths.

Following a Philips CPAP recall issued in June 2021, new information is still being learned about the long-term cancer risk associated with Philips CPAP machines. Unfortunately for former users, there is increasing evidence that foam particles released by the CPAP devices have exposed users to several different types of Philips CPAP cancer and lymphoma risks.

It will likely be some time before independent research and studies confirm exactly how and why the Philips recalled CPAP machines cause cancer, but there are several theories that help explain why there are so many CPAP causing cancer cases among former users of the recalled Philips machines.

In this post we will explain the kinds of cancer diagnosed among Philips CPAP users based on lawsuits investigated by our lawyers, and discuss the emerging theories that may explain why there is a cancer risk with Philips CPAP machines.

To review the specifics of a potential Philips CPAP causing cancer claim with our lawyers and find out whether you or a loved one may be eligible for a settlement, request a free consultation by filling out the form below.

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What kind of cancer may be caused by a Philips CPAP?

Over the past year, our lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. have been investigating Philips CPAP lawsuits for individuals throughout the United States, and we have spoken with thousands of former users of the sleep apnea treatment.

While we are currently reviewing claims involving ANY cancer, leukemia or lymphoma, some of the most commonly reported Philips CPAP cancer incidence seen by our law firm include:

  • Lung Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Leukemia, Lymphoma or Myeloma
  • Throat Cancer
  • Nasal Cancer or Sinus Cancer
  • Stomach or Intestinal Cancer
  • Other Cancers


Most Common Types of Cancer in Philips CPAP Lawsuits Reviewed By Our Lawyers

Most Common Types of Cancer In Philips CPAP Lawsuits

*based on claims reviewed by Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. as of June 2022


In addition to Philips CPAP Cancer lawsuits , claims are also being pursued for lung damage, respiratory injuries and other side effects from Philips CPAP machines. There are no fees or expenses unless a recovery is obtained.

Philips Respironics CPAP + BiPap Recalled Due to Carcinogenic Effects

A recall was issued for millions of Philips DreamStation, CPAP + BiPAP machines used to treat sleep apnea in June 2021, after it was discovered that the sound abatement foam inside the devices was breaking down and releasing small particles and debris directly into the tubing, face masks and users lungs. This has resulted in hundreds of reports that indicate users of these Philips CPAP devices have developed cancer.

The polyester-based polyethylene (PE-PUR) foam was meant to reduce noise while using the Philips CPAP machine every night, making the devices more marketable and increasing sales. However, the sound dampening foam provides no functional benefit in helping treat your sleep apnea, and no one would have purchased the device if they knew that a quieter Philips CPAP may cause them to develop cancer and other health problems.

Although safer alternative designs were available, Philips chose to place the PE-PUR foam directly into the sleep apnea machine’s air pathways, despite evidence that it was likely to degrade and release particles containing a number of harmful chemicals, gasses, and potential cancer causing agents.

FDA Warns About Potential Risk of Philips Foam Cancer from CPAP Particles and Chemicals

After the Philips CPAP recall announcement, the FDA urged individuals to stop using the sleep apnea machines unless they were needed for life-saving therapy, or a doctor determines stopping use may involve greater risk to your health. However, very little information has been provided for former long-term users about their future risk of developing cancer from the Philips CPAP machine.

According to an FDA statement about the Philips CPAP health risks, inhaling the potentially harmful chemicals and particles released by the sound foam can cause a number of serious injuries, including “Toxic and Cancer-Causing Effects”.

…Since April 2021, the FDA has received over 98,000 MDRs [Medical Device Reports] related to foam breakdown (degradation). A wide range of adverse events have been reported to the FDA, including cancer, pneumonia, asthma, other respiratory problems, infection, headache, cough, dyspnea (difficulty breathing), dizziness, nodules, and chest pain.

While a series of answers to frequently asked questions for Philips CPAP-BiPAP machines has been issued by the FDA, no clear information has been provided about how Philips CPAP machines cause cancer, types of cancer that may be caused by the recalled sleep apnea machines or the scope of the potential cancer risk from the CPAP treatment.

Philips BiPAP Recall in 2022 Due to Chemicals Known to Cause Cancer

More than one year after disclosing problems with the sound abatement foam, a Philips BiPAP recall was announced in August 2022, due to a plastic component in the motor that can release cancer-causing chemicals directly into the machine’s air pathways. Among the potential risks listed by the FDA in their warning about the Philips BiPAP risks are potential “toxic and cancer-causing effects”.

Do Philips CPAP Machines Cause Cancer?

So, does Philips CPAP cause cancer? There is compelling evidence that the answer is yes, and a number of highly regarded experts are prepared to testify at trial that former users would not have developed cancer if they had not used a recalled Philips CPAP machine.

Generally, there is no evidence that suggests CPAP machines cause cancer by themselves. If they did, people would not buy the devices or use them regularly to treat their sleep apnea. However, the defective design associated with Philips CPAP machines do cause cancer to develop in certain individuals.

The first CPAP machines were introduced in the 1980s, and they have exploded in popularity over the past few decades. There are around 50 to 70 million people in the United States with sleep apnea, and many pay between $300 and $500 for a CPAP machine to improve their health and help keep their airway open at night, generating billions in annual sales for the manufacturers.

While there are some potential side effects associated with CPAP therapy, cancer is not generally thought to be one of them. Certainly there have been cases of cancer among CPAP users, often among sleep apnea patients with other risk factors for cancer. However, no cause-and-effect relationship has ever been established between CPAP treatment and cancer.

Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case with recalled Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines.

Do ResMed CPAP machines cause cancer?

Unlike Philips Respironics machines, there is no evidence ResMed CPAP devices cause cancer. ResMed manufactures competing CPAP machines that do not contain the same PE-PUR foam that caused problems with Philips devices. Therefore, the FDA has not issued any warnings about a ResMed CPAP causing cancer, and the problems appear to be unique to Philips CPAP machines recalled in June 2021.

How Could a Recalled Philips CPAP Machine Cause Cancer?

Unlike other CPAP machines, the Philips Dream Station, CPAP and BiPAP devices contained a polyester based polyurethane foam (PE-PUR) that is the key to explaining why sleep apnea patients face an increased risk of cancer with the devices.

Following regular use, there are several ways the recalled Philips CPAP machine could cause cancer as the defective PE-PUR foam deteriorates and breaks down:

  • First, the cancer-causing chemicals and gasses may be released by the deteriorating CPAP machine foam, which can be inhaled directly into the lungs;
  • Second, the black debris and particles from the Philips CPAP foam can pass through the tubing and face mask, entering the mouth and intestinal tract, where it breaks down inside the body;
  • And third, chronic inflammation caused by the Philips CPAP foam particles can cause cancer to develop in the mouth, throat, nose, lungs and other organs.

Exposure to Chemicals and Gasses Increases Philips CPAP Cancer Risks

It will likely be several years before independent testing and studies establish all of the cancer-causing chemicals and gasses released by Philips Respironics CPAP machines. However, early reports and lab testing have found that the PE-PUR foam contains a number of harmful chemicals, such as toluene diamine, toluene diisocyanate and diethylene glycol. As the foam breaks down it can also release unsafe levels of gasses and compounds like dimethyl diazine and phenol, 2,6-bis (1,1-dimethylethyl)-4-(1-methylpropyl).

These harmful chemicals and gasses from the Philips CPAP foam are released directly into the sleep apnea machine’s air pathways, and enter the users body, where they may cause various types of cancer by interfering with the normal function of cellular components, leading to the development of cancerous cells.

Exposure to cancer-causing chemicals is known to be a major risk factor for the development of cancer. Some chemicals can damage DNA, causing mutations that may lead to cancer. Other chemicals can promote cell division, which can also lead to cancer from Philips CPAP machines.

Chemical and gas exposure may explain the carcinogenic effects of Philips machines, including lung cancer and the development of blood cancers, such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other potential cancer risks.

CPAP Foam Particles Metabolized and Breakdown Inside the Body

In addition to Philips CPAP machines causing cancer from breathing the chemicals and gasses released into the devices air pathways, users also directly inhaled and swallowed small foam particles that were released into their body.

Since the Philips DreamStation and CPAP/BiPAP machines with PE-PUR foam were introduced, users have reported finding black debris and black foam particles in their sleep apnea device masks, tubing and filters.

Reports submitted to the manufacturer and posted on the internet in prior years have described CPAP foam as:

  • “black sticky dust”
  • “black mold-like substance”
  • “black particles in CPAP tubing”
  • “CPAP filters turning black”.

These black foam particles were not only left in the CPAP machine, but also entered users’ mouths and lungs, where they were then metabolized and broke down inside the body. This can negatively affect the health of users, leading to upper airway irritation, sinus infections, chest pressure and other medical conditions that require medical intervention.

When the body’s immune system is constantly fighting against foreign invaders like the particles from the Philips Respironics CPAP foam, it can also become weaker over time, making the user more susceptible to cancer.

Digesting and metabolizing the PE-PUR foam pieces may explain why some users develop organ cancers that initially appear unrelated to their CPAP treatment, including kidney cancer, liver cancer, thyroid cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer.

Chronic Inflammation from Philips CPAP May Cause Cancer

In addition to the side effects from metabolizing the CPAP foam particles, this degraded foam also may cause chronic inflammation of the respiratory tract, lungs and throughout the body.

Chronic inflammation is a known risk factor for cancer, which can damage DNA or produce molecules called cytokines, which stimulate the growth of blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to the tumor. A 2015 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that as many as one in five cancers may be caused or influenced by inflammation.

This inflammation may explain many of the sinus cancer, nasal cancer, throat cancer and lung cancer cases diagnosed among former users.

When the body’s immune system is constantly fighting against foreign invaders like the particles from the Philips CPAP foam, it can also accelerate the amount of time it may take for cancers to develop and spread, increasing the risk of all cancers.

Philips CPAP Cancer Settlement Benefits May Be Available

As a result of design choices that placed a desire for profits before consumer safety, former users may be eligible for substantial Philips CPAP causing cancer settlement benefits, including:

  • Coverage for Medical Bills and Cancer Treatments
  • Compensation for Pain and Suffering
  • Past and Future Lost Wages or Earning Capacity
  • Other Benefits for Cancer Caused by a Philips CPAP

Existing evidence makes it clear that Philips Respironics knew they were using a dangerous and unsafe CPAP design, which placed toxic foam directly into the device’s air pathways, increasing the potential health risks for users.

While research explaining the link between Philips Respironics CPAP and cancer is continuing, former users face approaching deadlines to pursue a settlement over the Philips CPAP recall.

What to do if you or a loved one were diagnosed with cancer from a Philips CPAP machine?

The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. provide free consultations and claim evaluations to help families throughout the United States determine whether they may be eligible to pursue a Philips CPAP lawsuit related to cancer development.

There are never any out-of-pocket costs to speak with our Philips CPAP cancer lawyers, and we only receive an attorney fee or expenses if we are successful obtaining a settlement or recovery in your case. To request a free consultation and lawsuit evaluation, call 1-800-522-0102 or request a case review on-line:

Steps in an Philips CPAP Cancer Lawsuit Evaluation


Complete our Philips CPAP Case Evaluation Request Form: Provide contact information and some information about your Philips Respironics CPAP cancer claim for review by our attorneys.


Get Contacted by Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. You will be contacted by our law firm to help determine if financial compensation of Philips CPAP cancer settlement benefits may be available for you and your family.


You Decide If You Want to Move Forward. If our lawyers determine that we can help with your Philips CPAP cancer lawsuit, it remains your decision whether to hire our law firm to move forward and pursue your claim.


10 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Andre says:

    My respiratory systems are getting worse and I was being hospital liked every 3 months

    Posted on July 30, 2022 at 3:35 am

  • John says:

    I use a cpa machine.

    Posted on October 5, 2022 at 12:52 pm

  • Kenneth says:

    I am retaining the original Phillios machine as evidence of ownership and use. Switched manufactures of CPAP machines, before recall was announced. I have not had a cancer screening. But used the old machine for years. What is my status with the original lawsuit of Phillips?
    I signed up on the original lawsuit.

    Posted on October 12, 2022 at 2:40 pm

  • Jay says:

    I used a philipps System One for many years. I remember waking up in the middle of the night with cpap on with asthma attacks so bad that I thought that I would suffocate to death.
    On other nights, I’d sleep and wake up with the mask off like i subconsciously took it off while sleeping because I couldn’t breathe.
    I never saw the black residue though. And so far, I don’t have cancer yet.
    I pray for good health to all users of recalled cpap users.

    Posted on October 17, 2022 at 9:12 am

  • Colleen says:

    I used a CPAP machine between 2014 to 2015 and ended up with a throat infection which eventually had a growth that kept getting bigger. Had to have my saliva gland removed and have lost my taste buds and feeling on the left side of my tongue. Dr. said the growth had strange particles it but couldn’t figure out what they were.

    Posted on January 9, 2023 at 11:47 pm

  • George says:

    I am currently using a Phillips cap machine and we are having a problem getting a different one. How can I get this one replaced? I have spoken with my physician about this and it has fallen on deaf ear. I have been on this machine 5 years.

    Posted on April 20, 2023 at 11:30 pm

  • Dalton says:

    my machine was recaled bipap phillips sent back never heard from anyone still suffering from sleep with no machine was told a new replacement would bee sent 2 years ago

    Posted on October 10, 2023 at 6:14 pm

  • Chris says:

    My father had a Dreamstation AUTO Cpap machine and while replaced he was diagnosed with Lung Cancer that has moved to brain. He did get a replacement machine in the past.

    Posted on December 20, 2023 at 11:03 am

  • Bryan says:

    I use this recalled unit for years. I was hospitalized in January of last year with severe lung infection and I’m still having problems Breathing a year later.

    Posted on January 11, 2024 at 8:12 am

  • James says:

    Use the CPAP used it in the hospital stay in the Western State hospital. sleep with CPAP machine for 2yeqrs. only white there.

    Posted on March 29, 2024 at 3:26 am

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