French Retailer in Hot Seat Over Chinese Chairs

From the International Herald Tribune:

After tainted baby milk, now toxic chairs from China.

Customers in France who bought Chinese-made recliners are complaining of stinging allergic rashes and infections… The French distributor, Conforama, warned clients in July that some of the chairs and sofas presented an allergy risk “in rare cases.” It has withdrawn them from sale and now says the health problems were linked to an anti-fungal chemical in the chairs…

Conforama says it has severed its commercial ties with the Chinese supplier, Linkwise, and told its other suppliers to no longer use the chemical, dimethyl fumarate, to prevent mold.

According to Wikipedia, furniture Linkwise manufactured and sold in Finland from 2006-2007 also caused dimethyl fumarate-based allergic rashes to over sixty people.  This event was analyzed by T. Rantanen (Central Hosptial, Lahti, Finland) in the article “The Cause of the Chinese Sofa / Chair Dermatitis Epidemic Is Likely To Be Contact Allergy to Dimethylfumarate, a Novel Potent Contact Sensitizer” (British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 159, no. 1, pp. 218-221)

Linkwise is based  in Dongguan, Guangdong Province.

More information about dimethyl fumerate.

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