Philips CPAP Cancer Risk: How recalled Philips CPAP Machines may cause cancer

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted June 9, 2022

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Following a Philips CPAP recall issued in June 2021, new information is still being learned about the long-term side effects associated with the sleep apnea machines. Unfortunately for former users, there is increasing evidence that foam particles released by the Philips CPAP devices may cause several different types of cancer.

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 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 cancer claim with our lawyers and find out whether you or a loved one may be eligible for a settlement, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

What kind of cancer can you get from 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

chart of what kinds of cancer you get from a cpap

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

FIND OUT IF YOU QUALIFY FOR A PHILIPS CPAP CANCER CLAIM

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.

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 and gasses.

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

After the Philips 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 provide 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 3,000 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.

Link Between Cancer and CPAP Machines used for Sleep Apnea

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.

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.

Can 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 cancer risk, 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 gases 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 Cancer-Causing Chemicals and Gasses

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 in unsafe levels of gasses and compounds like dimethyl diazine and phenol, 2,6-bis (1,1-dimethylethyl)-4-(1-methylpropyl).

These harmful chemicals and gases 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’ mouth 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

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

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.

These design choices were based on a decision to place profits before consumer safety. As a result, former users may be eligible for substantial Philips CPAP 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

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.

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 DreamStation Lawsuit Evaluation

1

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.

2

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.

3

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.

CONTACT OUR PHILIPS CPAP CANCER LAWYERS TODAY

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