Production lines for Silent Night and eve Mattress screeched to a halt in the UK as factories were made aware of excessive levels of a carcinogenic ingredient in its foam mattresses.
German-based chemical giant BASF sent an emergency notification to both mattress manufacturers, as well as, 48 other companies earlier this week to properly inform them of a potentially serious health risk.
BASF’s letter stated that they found an ingredient they produce, TDI, contained unusually high levels of the toxic ingredient dichlorobenzene following what they are calling a “technical error.”
Dichlorobenzene is an organic compound that is toxic to water organisms and can cause irritation of eyes, skin and respiratory tract in humans and is suspected of causing cancer, the company said.
The chemical TDI is a precursor needed when manufacturing upholstery in furniture, such as the foam used in mattresses.
As a safety precaution, Silent Night shut down production at one of its factories to deploy emergency safety checks on its mattresses.
Following this thorough investigation, we can confirm that there has been no impact whatsoever on the quality or safety of any products manufactured at our Silentnight Group sites,” a Silent Night spokesman said. “While we have now resumed manufacturing, there is likely to be some disruption in the short term.”
Eve sleep also halted production at their German factory until proper safety checks are completed.
“Eve’s UK and French products are produced in the UK using a separate supply route and were therefore never potentially affected,” said a spokesman. “As a precaution, manufacturing was suspended immediately at the German factory, which supplies Eve’s European customers (excluding the UK and France). We can now confirm that all our products are completely unaffected and absolutely safe for customers.”
Simba Sleep, one of eve’s largest direct competitors confirmed that initial checks of their mattresses were safe and unaffected by the cancer scare.
BASF said that it had now conducted initial tests on the foams with higher levels of the toxic ingredient. It found that “health hazards are not anticipated for consumers” and that two-thirds of the foam had not been processed through supply chains.