The use of the biocide dimethylfumarate (DMF) in consumer products such as couches and shoes was recently banned across the EU. The ban results from the recent adoption by EU member states of a draft decision of the European Commission and will ensure that consumer products, such as leather furniture or footwear, containing DMF are not imported into or otherwise placed on the market in the EU. Products that contain DMF and are already on the EU market must be withdrawn or recalled without delay.
The ban follows reports of health problems including skin itching, irritation, redness, burns and in some cases acute respiratory difficulty in some consumers exposed to products containing DMF. Group litigation has been started in the UK against a number of suppliers of furniture that is alleged to have been supplied with sachets of DMF.