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Foam mattress makers halt production in cancer scare

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UK mattress companies Silent Night and newly-listed Eve Sleep have had to halt production at factories after being told there was a risk of excessive levels of a carcinogenic ingredient in its foam mattresses.

German chemicals giant BASF wrote to mattress makers and 48 other companies earlier this week to say that it had found that an ingredient it produced, TDI, contained unusually high levels of toxic ingredient dichlorobenzen following 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.

TDI is a chemical precursor needed to make upholstery in furniture, such as foam mattresses and car seats.

Silent Night shut down production at one of its factories to perform emergency checks on its mattresses while it investigated the situation.

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