Airway and Sleep Group Podcast

Millions of sleep apnea machines recalled over potential cancer risk

September 10, 2021 Dr. Liliana Calkins
Airway and Sleep Group Podcast
Millions of sleep apnea machines recalled over potential cancer risk
Show Notes

CPAP Recall Due to Cancer Risk

Millions of breathing machines used to treat sleep apnea have been recalled due to testing showing that the machine causes users to inhale cancer causing toxins. Philips Dreamstation, a CPAP machine that was recalled, uses sound dampening foam that may degrade into particles and off-gas chemicals which are inhaled by its users. 

The FDA has noted the presence of black debris and particles within the device’s air pathway and says that breathing those in could result in serious injury which can be life threatening or cause permanent impairment. The effects could lead to irritation or asthma and could even cause carcinogenic effects. 

The Need for a Good Night’s Sleep

Dr. David Clayman directs the Sleep Disorders Center at UCSF and has informed his patients of the possible side effects encouraging those with milder cases of sleep apnea to make the decision for themselves of whether to continue use of the machines as he cannot offer any guarantees whether the machines are safe.

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder affecting 25 million people where people’s breathing during sleep repeatedly stops and starts.nSome people with severe sleep apnea assume the risk of using their CPAP machines despite the risks for cancer as they believe that not getting enough sleep could result in greater health risks that could cause danger to themselves and others, like falling asleep while driving.

It is important to note that people with CPAP machines tend to use an ozone cleaning system to clean them and that may be causing the sound abatement foam to degrade even faster.

The Orthodontic Alternative to Using CPAP Machines

Sleep apnea sufferers can turn to orthodontic treatments to treat their sleep apnea and avoid the risk in using a CPAP machine that can negatively affect their health in the long run. Why risk inhaling cancer-causing toxins from CPAP machines when making adjustments to the shape of your mouth has been found as a proven method of treatment to improve your airway?

A review by the Department of Health, Life and Environmental Science, University of L’Aquila and the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy showed rapid maxillary expansion (RME) as an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). The Rapid Maxillary Expansion treatment uses a device implanted into the roof of your mouth to widen the bones and tissue of your mouth to leave ample space for the tongue to relax. A space created between your two front teeth are then corrected using traditional orthodontic appliances.

Do You Suffer From Sleep Apnea?

Other alternatives to CPAP can include:

• Dental appliance that repositions the lower jaw and tongue
 • Upper airway surgery to remove excess tissue
 • Nasal expiratory positive airway pressure with a disposable valve covering the nostrils
 • Treatment using hypoglossal nerve stimulation

At Airway and Sleep Group, we work with patients on treatments for sleep apnea regularly. Contact us for your initial consultation or visit for more information.