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Hiroshima store operator recalls 1,200 bath mats over asbestos

Asbestos is seen in an image taken by a microscope. (Image courtesy of Tokyo Occupational Safety & Health Center)

HIROSHIMA -- Major supermarket operator Izumi Co., based in this western Japan city's Higashi Ward, announced on Dec. 28 that four of its bath mat products that use diatomite, a highly water-absorbent mineral material, contain asbestos exceeding the legal limit.

    Izumi has halted sales of the products and is recalling them. Since August, it had sold about 1,200 units at its Youme Town stores, which have 65 locations in west Japan. The bath mats were imported from China through trading company Fuji Boeki Co., based in the Fukuoka Prefecture city of Kitakyushu, southwest Japan. The supermarket operator will offer refunds for the returned products.

    For more inquiries, please call Izumi Co.'s customer service line on 0120-664-687 (in Japanese) between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

    (Japanese original by Kazuki Ikeda, Hiroshima Bureau)

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