Skip to Menu Skip to Search Contact Us Finland Websites & Languages Skip to Content

The European Union has officially banned dimethylfumarate (DMF), which has been used as a mould-prevention agent in certain products (e.g. footwear, leather furniture and soft toys). Since May 2009, EU Member States must ensure that products containing dimethylfumarate do not end up in the market. Products already on the market have to be removed and products supplied to consumers will be recalled. Member States must also make sure that consumers receive adequate information about the risk posed to these products.
Most commonly, DMF is used to protect leather furniture and footwear from moulding during transport and storage. DMF is usually packed in small bags which are put inside furniture or in shoe boxes. The bags evaporate and absorb substances to the product. Absorbed DMF protects the product from moulding. The substance also affects the consumers, who are in contact with the products by causing harmful skin reactions such as itching, irritation, redness and burning. In some cases, DMF may cause even breathing difficulties.
Legislation Related to DimethylfumarateThe Commission's decision 2009/251/EY obligates Member States to ensure that products containing DMF are not placed in the market and are not accessible to consumers. The decision will apply from the 15th of March 2010.
Government Decree 251/2009 prohibits the marketing of consumer products containing DMFin Finland. Regulation has been effective since April 27, 2009. After May 1, 2009 products containing DMF(mould-retardant products) can not be sold or introduced in the market in Europe.
Dimethylfumarate in Consumer Products
At the end of 2006, the so-called poison-chair rash cases occurred in Finland. Easy chairs manufactured in China were sold in different furniture stores in 2006 and 2007. The chairs caused bad rash in more than 60 people . The Finnish doctor Tapio Rantanen investigated these cases and sorted out that DMFused in the manufacturing process caused the skin rashes. Tapio Rantanen’s research report was published in the prestigious magazine British Journal of Dermatology . In February 2007, the Finnish Consumer Office requested furniture shops to recall these products. Between 2006 and 2008 many corresponding cases occurred in Britain.
In November 2008 in France, DMF-causing rash was found in a number of women's boots and footwear boxes. The products were recalled from the sale by the French consumer agency notification. It is known that DMF has caused health problems in Finland, France, Poland, Sweden, Great Britain and Spain.
Until July 2009, 76 products containing DMF, has been reported in RAPEX (Rapid Alert System for Dangerous Products). Most of these were shoes, but the list also includes furniture and riding helmet.
SGS Services We perform dimethylfumarate content test on products and packaging in our brand new chemical Multilab located in Kotka. Our inspectors and experts help you to ensure that the goods and their packaging do not contain any prohibited substances and coordinate delivery of sample to the testing laboratory. We offer a wide range of harmful substance analyses for consumer goods. Our experts are happy to answer your questions regarding consumer product requirements as well as product quality and safety. We support you in the requirement clarification process as well as product development and quality testing. We will be pleased to answer your questions:
Anja Merenkivi,
t:+358 9-6963 667
Asta Tissari
t: +358 9-6963 665
Merja Portaankorva
t: +358 9 6963 662
SGS Inspection Services Oy
P.O. Box 128 (Särkiniementie 3)
t: +358 9 696 3701
f: +358 9 692 4673
SGS FinlandThe SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 56,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.