Representative Ralph Long of Southwest Atlanta introduced legislation Thursday that would regulate the refurbished mattress industry.
If passed, House Bill 678 would require that used mattress parts be sterilized before being resold.
It mandates that mattress makers register with the state Department of Agriculture and provide an approved sterilization plan. Agriculture officials would be responsible for inspecting the factories and enforcement.
Long promised to introduce legislation in May 2011 after seeing an exclusive CBS Atlanta investigation into American Mattress Manufacturing Company in Southwest Atlanta. The investigation found stained, smelly, and moldy mattress parts were wrapped in a new cover and resold as new.
There is currently no state law requiring used mattress parts be cleaned before being resold.
"You just can't just get a mattress from a dumpster or on the side of the street and clad it in new material and sell it as new to people. This is unscrupulous," Long said.
Long said he doesn't know how much it will cost to implement the new regulations.
When asked how he will convince other lawmakers to support the bill, he responded, "What would you pay to make sure your child is sleeping on a clean mattress?"
The state removed similar regulations in the 1990s, reportedly because it couldn't appropriately fund enforcement efforts.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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