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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

FORBIDDEN : Dimethylfumarate (DMF)

On 20th March 2009 the European Commission adopted a Decision under Article 13 of the General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC) regarding the biocide DMF in consumer products. The Decision indicates that DMF is an unauthorised biocidal substance which has appeared in products coming into the EU and has caused severe allergic reactions in hundreds of consumers causing a serious risk to consumer health; including skin itching, irritation, redness, burns and, in some cases, acute respiratory difficultly.

DMF is used to prevent mould growth on products in humid or damp conditions. It is often placed in sachets, which are fixed inside furniture or added to footwear boxes where it evaporates and impregnates the product to protect it during transportation and storage. Although it has previously been primarily associated with leather products, furniture (sofas in particular) and footwear; a velour toy has recently been recalled in France due to the presence of DMF.

From 1 May 2009 no products containing DMF shall be placed or made available on the market and products (or parts of products) containing more than 0.1mg/kg DMF already placed or made available on the market must be withdrawn and recalled from consumers.

Considering the recent recall of the soft toy, importers and retailers of toys are advised to ensure that no anti-mould sachets containing DMF are, or have been, included with their products or raw materials during transit.

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