Facebook has put a temporary freeze on sales of its Oculus Quest 2 following reports of adverse skin reactions to the foam used to cushion the VR headset's display.
A blog post explains that the company has heard reports over the last seven months from "a very small percentage" of Quest 2 owners detailing "skin irritation" after using the headset, irritation that has since been linked to the foam facial interface included with the device.
As such, the company is working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada on a joint voluntary recall centering around that foam part. Current Oculus Quest 2 owners are able to participate in that recall and receive a silicone cover that can be placed over the foam to prevent irritation.
That same cover will become a standard fixture of the Quest 2 moving forward, including when Quest 2 sales resume on August 24.
In its longer blog, Facebook adds that "while the rate of reports is small and the majority of reported cases are minor, we’re committed to ensuring our products are safe and comfortable for everyone who uses them." Facebook maintains that it hasn't found any hazardous contaminants in its manufacturing process that would cause a reaction, and adds that experts have suggested the rate of irritation is in line with the wider rate at which people experience skin irritation from "many household items—even things like tomatoes or shampoo."
A separate article on the Oculus blog tracks the issue from when it first appeared on Facebook's radar in December 2020. As of that December, reports of skin irritation came from around 0.01 percent of Quest 2 users. However, in the months since, those irritations prompted Facebook to make at least two changes to the Quest 2 manufacturing process even before the new silicone cover was decided to be the solution to the skin irritation issue.