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Mind your Bottom - Toxic Sofa!

Updated on April 27, 2010


Mind your Bottom - What I actually mean is: Mind where you sit. What do you think of the photo below? It seems like a nice leather sofa - quite stylish but could it be dangerous to health?

Lots of people have fell terribly ill due to their sofa’s in the UK. This is due to a "highly sensitising" fungicidal chemical called Dimethyl Fumarate (DMF). It's used by Japanese manufacturers to stop mould growth in the Leather while it is being stored and transported.

When the sofas get into people's homes the sachets turn into gas that burns through clothes and then on to the skin. EU have now banned the use of DMF, after people affected in at least five European countries suffered skin burns and respiratory problems.


DMF - Dimethyl Fumarate

Some Symptoms

  • Rashes
  • Burns
  • Breathing Problems
  • Terrible Itching


Have you been affected and taken time off work?

The High Court judges have sanctioned a deal that will see some 1,650 people, who suffered painful burns, receive compensation for their injuries as the companies who sold the Sofa's have admitted liability. April 2010

The compensation totals up to £20million and will be shared by all affected.

If you are outside UK and feel this has affected you, it's advisable to take the matter up with the manufacturers of your Sofa.

Baby Archie suffered burns and rashes


1) When you buy a Leather Sofa, ensure it doesn’t have DMF as it’s only banned in the EU Countries.

2) If you experience any itching, burns, rashes – have it checked out medically.

3) If you are in the UK and have bought Sofa’s from Argos, Land of Leather and Walmsleys or any others (particularly those 3 as they sell Japanese Leather Sofa’s). There is a possiblity, it’s in the Sofa.

4) Not such a good idea to buy a second hand Leather Sofa.


No more bad news from UK

My Last Hub was about the Ash Cloud Problem, which stranded a lot of people traveling to and from Europe earlier this month (April). This Hub isn’t good news either – but I hope the next Hub will be a Happy Hub. Maybe, I’d have won the lottery and will be writing you from my Private Jet, on the way to my Private Island, where my Private Yacht awaits....


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    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hi Nancy's Niche - Totally agree with you. I like the fact that we have quality checks. Regards.

      ** Hello 4Foodsafety - It's important to wash Towels after buying them (before use). Its not just the Chemicals, the stores move them everywhere and they gather dust/dirt.

      Thanks for your encouraging comments. :)

    • 4FoodSafety profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Fontana, WI

      My best friend had a problem with towels - we learned that we MUST wash them first because of the chemicals! I hate chemicals! This is a must read - love and admire your writing style.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 

      8 years ago

      We need to bring our manufacturing jobs back home where standards are monitored.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks so much Susan.

      I hope it helps a lot of people. Regards. :)

    • Susan Carter profile image

      Susan Carter 

      8 years ago

      Oh my, that poor little baby with the burned skin. It makes me so angry when businesses don't care anything about how the use of chemicals can hurt people. They can't think past the profits they are going to make and don't care about the reprocussions. Thank you for the information. I will pass it on to anyone I hear talking about leather furniture so they can do their research too.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Thanks Fastfreta - good idea to be careful. I hope it never affects the US. Regards.

      ** Hi Samboiam - It doesn't mean you shouldn't own leather. (I have leather sofa's) maybe buy Italian Leather or anyone not from Japan. Best Wishes.

      ** Lovely to read from you again pastorcarlotta, I'm not sure what "shut ins" means. Sorry. Good to know you are keeping busy and may God bless the work of your hands. Regards. :)

      ** Hmmm Mike - what else could possibly happen? I hope positive things from now on. No more drama. lol

      Thanks for stopping. Best Wishes.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 

      8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Stories like this almost make you wonder what else could possibly happen? At least the manufacturers admitted liability!


    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 

      8 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      Hello Lady_E and Blessings! I have missed you! This is a very informational HUB!! WOW! Your GREAT!! Much love! I have to catch up, been working hard on my other site! lol, lol, Do you know any shut-ins that need a friend? Much love.

    • samboiam profile image


      8 years ago from Texas

      That is awful. Another reason not to own any leather furniture.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      I'm not a fan of Leather furniture, however I am going to be careful sitting on them henceforth. Although I've never heard of it here in the U.S., but who knows. Very good informative hub.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hi theherbivorehippi - Your comments made me think deeper. It's not just leather... Maybe, we should all start thinking along these lines.

      Nice to read from you again.

      ** Hello Jdove-miller - mmmh, well I actually did see something round the corner. lol. Some Jeans made in Japan are made with a Thread that is unhealthy to skin. I saw this on CNN recently (not nice) but will not alarm anyone yet. However, I will ensure I don't buy cheap Jeans from "markets". Lovely to read from you. Hope your business is doing well.

      ** Cheers Andromida, Good to know flights from your place to UK are running well. Best wishes.

      ** Hello Mystique, no worries - You and yours are welcome. You can both chill in my Yacht. I don't use it that much anyway, I'm too busy flying in my Jet. lol. Regards.

    • Mystique1957 profile image


      8 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

      My Dearest Elena...

      Great pointers, excellent advice! Can never be too careful! Regarding your Private Jet, Island and Yatch; Do not forget to pass me an invitation for two. I am dying to take some time off with my angel...Hahahaha! Thumbs up and Stumbled!

      Warmest regards and infinite eternal blessings, my dear!


    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 

      8 years ago

      Great information Elena,I would be clueless if fungicidal chemical made any Rashes or burns to me.I guess volcanic eruption has already stopped, and ashes too.Flights from my place to UK is normal now.Thank you:)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My goodness. It is amazing the number of defective products being introduced into society recently. Makes one wonder what else awaits around the corner.

    • theherbivorehippi profile image


      8 years ago from Holly, MI

      Well, being a vegan, I am already anti-leather anything so I am happy for this hub and hope that it deters people away from leather furniture. Thank you for such an important hub. The picture of that baby is just traggic!

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Thanks Happyher - I hope that Public Speaking Event you had went very well. Best Wishes.

      ** Hi Eileen, it is amazing - I have leather sofa's and keep on looking at them suspiciously. lol. (I've had them for years now anyway). Regards.

      ** Hi Dreamreachout - I will pop over to read it before I log out. Best Wishes.

      ** Hello Philipo - it doesn't mean you have to hate Leather chairs though. Maybe you could buy Italian Leather?

      Thanks for stopping.

    • Philipo profile image


      8 years ago from Nigeria

      Thanks so much. Its very interesting and educative hub. I actually love leather chairs but never again.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have published a new hub and its special .. Do check it!!

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      this is incredible, I actually saw it on TV tonight and had not heard of it before now I have read your article. Its amazing what they put in things these days. thanks for sharing that.

    • HappyHer profile image

      Tracy Morrow 

      8 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      I'd never thought of that. Thank you for this information.

    • Lady_E profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London, UK

      ** Hi Dreamreachout, I'm glad you found it informative. Ofcourse, you and your friends can join me in my Private Jet. lol

      ** True BKCreative - it's helpful to be aware of dangers of what we have at home, that we use everyday. Best Wishes.

      ** Hi hello, hello - I don't think people ever thought sofa's could be harmful and that includes me. So, when they buy it, it never ever comes to mind. We are more concerned about how it compliments our home. Regards.

      ** Hello Vladimir - Thanks for stopping. Best Wishes.

      ** Hi Coffeesnob, I'm glad you found it informative. Nice to read from you again.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow! I had no idea. thanks for the informative hub


    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 

      8 years ago from HubPages, FB

      Wow, it is important to know. Thanks.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a very important information. I don't like leather in the best of time but this is disgusting for people to get hurt like that. Does anybody ever test anything anymore?

    • BkCreative profile image


      8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      We need this info here in the US because nothing is ever banned until it kills tons of us and someone remains alive to complain. There are so many toxins in our homes and our furniture - we need to be aware of everything.

      Thanks so much for this information. I am glad I am already a follower!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      We didnt knew much about sofas untill you told us here!! Thanks for that!!

      Are you going alone by your private jet to your private island where you have your private yacht?? I hope you take your friends from hub pages along .. Lol!!


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