EU bans dimethyl fumarate

4 February 2009

The European Union has banned the use of dimethyl fumarate which is being used to prevent mould forming on leather furniture and shoes during transit.

The protective plastic wrapping used encourages moisture which is an ideal breeding ground for micro organisms and manufacturers in China have been accused of placing sachets containing the chemical inside furniture and footwear.

However, dimethyl fumarate has been identified as causing extreme allergic reactions and is not the fungicide of choice in the west. Europe already has a ban on dimethyl fumarate for use in goods made in Europe and now it intends to extend this to cover all goods imported into Europe.

The ban needs to be approved by the European Parliament and the European Commission and is due to go into force within two months.

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