Bed firms halt production over toxic chemical alert

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
16 October 2017

Silentnight and eve halted production after a supplier warned higher levels of a toxic chemical had entered the foam supply chain.

Silentnight said there would be disruption after it suspended manufacturing as a precautionary measure after BASF warned of a potentially carcinogenic ingredient in foam mattresses.

Eve said production was “briefly stopped as a precaution while thorough checks were made”.

BASF halted deliveries of TDI, which is used to make foam, after it discovered excessive levels of dichlorobenzene, which is potentially hazardous to people and the environment. The company said 7,500 tonnes of TDI were affected and around two thirds had not been further processed. “The withdrawal of the product has started in close cooperation with the customers,” said BASF.

“BASF experts have conducted initial tests on foams as part of a risk assessment. The results and subsequent calculations show that health hazards are not anticipated,” said BASF.

A Silentnight spokesperson said: “The UK furniture industry has been affected by a significant European foam supply issue, caused by a quality fluctuation from an ingredients supplier.

“As a precautionary measure, Silentnight Group suspended manufacturing for a short period of time while we investigated the situation.

“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.

“While we have now resumed manufacturing, there is likely to be some disruption in the short term.”

An eve spokesperson said: “eve’s UK and French products are produced in the UK using a separate supply route and were therefore never potentially affected. 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.”

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