Facebook is pausing all sales of its Oculus Quest 2 headset over concerns that the foam used between the headset and your face can in some cases cause severe “skin irritation”.
Facebook has known for a while now of the possibility the foam being used would do this; in a post back in December 2020, the company said:
We’ve received reports of skin irritation from about 0.01% of people using Quest 2, occurring where the foam portion of the Quest 2 headset rests on their face. While the vast majority of cases are mild and cases should resolve on their own, this doesn’t meet our high standards for customer experience.
Then in April 2021, Facebook decided there wasn’t a problem, posting an update:
After conducting a comprehensive investigation into this issue, we did not find any contamination or unexpected substances in our manufacturing process. We identified a few trace substances that are normally present in the manufacturing process which could contribute to skin discomfort, and while these were already at levels below the industry standard, out of an abundance of caution we changed our process to reduce them even further. We’ve confirmed with expert dermatologists and toxicologists that these levels are considered extremely low. While this issue has only been reported by a very small percentage of Quest 2 users, with these changes, we believe that users are even less likely to experience irritation resulting from any substances in the foam facial interface. We encourage any customer who experiences irritation from using Quest 2 to contact Oculus Support for a facial interface replacement.
Turns out there must be some kind of problem, though, because earlier today the company posted another update, this one saying (emphasis mine):
Today, we’re introducing a new silicone cover for all customers globally, including as part of a joint voluntary recall of the Quest 2 removable foam facial interface with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada. In addition, we’ve been communicating with global regulators and are taking the extra step of temporarily pausing sales of Quest 2 globally while we work to include the new silicone covers in all Quest 2 packages. The new silicone cover fits over the Quest 2 removable foam facial interface and starting on August 24, all Quest 2 headsets will come with a silicone cover included in every box. For more information, please visit the Oculus blog.
From August 24—when sales resume—all new Quest 2 headsets will include this as standard.
For those who already own a Quest 2, you can get one one of these silicone covers shipped out by asking for one.