Assemblyman Dinowitz, Senator Peralta Close Loophole To Combat Spread Of Bedbugs

New law will clarify the definition of new and used mattresses and bedding material and will protect against the spread of bedbugs, disease-causing microorganisms, and other pests.
November 30, 2017

Albany, NY New Yorkers buying their bedding have less to worry about, thanks to a new law from Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. In this new law, additional protections will be implemented within 180 days which protect against cross contamination from used mattresses and other bedding materials in order to prevent the accidental transfer of bedbugs and other pests to new bedding.

The spread of bedbugs has plagued the United States, and is especially problematic in New York City. According to the National Pest Management Association, bedbug complaints have increased by a factor of fifty times over the past decade. Bedbugs have been found in apartments, mansions, dormitories, and some of the finest hotels in the country. Cross contamination between non-sanitized used and new bedding material, including mattresses, has contributed to the spread of these pests and others.

Under this law, the definitions of new and used bedding are clarified and simplified to eliminate an existing loophole which allowed bedding that was purchased and returned by the purchaser within thirty days to be classified as new. Additionally, new protections are put in place to require the sanitization of used bedding before transport, storage, or sale in the same place as new bedding. The new law also requires that bedding manufacturers or repurposing facilities be inspected at least once every three years to verify compliance.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) said: I think the vast majority of people would agree with me when I say that bedbugs are gross. While I understand that some consumers might prefer to save money and purchase a used mattress, it is imperative that we take every precaution to prevent the spread of bedbugs and various diseases through cross contamination in a retailer or warehouse or truck. This law will strengthen consumer confidence that when they invest in a mattress that they are not also investing in a serious pest problem. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this legislation.

State Senator Peralta (D-Queens) said, "I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing this piece of legislation into law. Bedbug infestations should be a thing of the past, and it is vital that we protect all New Yorkers from this pest. When New Yorkers are purchasing a used mattress by choice or necessity, they should not be forced to buy bedbugs along with them. This bill will prohibit the sale of any bedding articles that were not previously sanitized, and strengthens the standards for mattress inspections."