Sofas Sprayed With Fungicide Cause Skin Burns in UK

by Gopalan on  May 29, 2008 at 2:34 PM General Health News
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Sofas Sprayed With Fungicide Cause Skin Burns in UK
Sofas sprayed with fungicide have caused skin burns in UK. Over a thousand people could sue the retail outlets which sold those sofas.

The allergic reaction is blamed onDi-methyl Fumarate (DMF), stored in sachets inside the sofas to stop them going mouldy.

Instead they seem to have caused a series of violent reactions in babies, adults and even household pets. Again there is a Chinese connection.

For there were 60 complaints about sofas from Argos and northern chain Walmsley's bought from the Linkwise Furniture factory in southern China. They were withdrawn when problems were first identified last year, but many people who bought them are still suffering.

Rebecca Lloyd-Bennett told the Sun newspaper that her son Archie, aged nine months, needed hospital treatment for blisters he developed after lying on a Land of Leather sofa in his nappy.

"He has been in agony," she said. "It is very itchy and he now has gloves to stop him from scratching."

She also blamed the sofa for causing her dog Kes' fur to fall out, forcing her to spend £1,000 of veterinary treatment.

BBC Watchdog had reported in February last that Argos contacted thousands of customers who bought batches of its Pia and Bari ranges last year to warn of the problems.

Darren Tattersley bought a Reece sofa from Land of Leather for £700 in June 2007. Almost as soon as his skin came into contact with the sofa, it came up in a painful, itching rash. Land of Leather agreed to replace his sofa but until it arrives, he's sitting on the floor.

Heather McKenzie fell asleep on her Legend leather sofa one evening in October 2007, and woke up with blisters and a rash all over her back. She wrote to Walmsleys, asking the company to take her sofa away, but three months later it's still sitting in her living room.

Again last fortnight, the BBC Watchdog said, "At the time of the last report, no one knew for sure what the problem was, but our research led us to believe a fungicide sachet inside the sofa, designed to prevent mould, was responsible. This has now been confirmed by a team of experts in Sweden.

Argos has reiterated that it quickly recalled potentially affected sofas. Both Argos and Land of Leather say they no longer sell any sofas manufactured by Linkwise.

Walmsleys says it also has no new orders placed with Linkwise and its policy with the ones it already had has been to offer customers an exchange or refund if they send in a doctor's note. The company says it didn't receive Sandra's letter but that it will now be giving her a full refund. It also says it has commissioned its own tests and is yet to reach a final view.

Linkwise still maintains that the problem is nothing to do with its products."

For China, the sofa problems marks the latest in a long line of high-profile scandals surrounding the safety of its exports, including pet food, toothpaste and toys.

Law firm Russell Jones & Walker is representing injury claims for more than 500 people who say they were affected by the sofas and, together with other law firms, is planning a group action in the High Court on behalf of 1,000 people, Aislinn Simpson writes in Daily Telegraph.

RJ&W solicitor Christian Shotton believes the case will see sofa retailers forced to pay out up to £4 million in compensation, replacement furniture and legal fees.

"This is the biggest customer liability claim group action in the UK," he said. "Some people were left looking like they'd had scalding water poured over their back or really bad sunburn, some people have been left with permanent scars and some suffered depression from not knowing what was wrong with them for so long."

A spokesman for Land of Leather said around 30,000 of the sofas had been sold at its stores nationwide but it had received "very few" complaints.

"We take these matters extremely seriously and as soon as it was apparent that there were problems, Land of Leather took the products off the market," he added.

A spokesman for Argos said it had consulted a dermatologist, who confirmed the most likely cause of the skin irritation was the DMF.

The company stressed that DMF's potency deteriorates over time, so people who own Linkswise sofas and have not been affected are unlikely to experience problems now.

"Argos would like to apologise to any customers who may have been affected by skin irritations linked to certain sofas manufactured by Linkwise in China," it said in a statement.

"We would like to make it clear that no sofas produced by the Linkwise factory are now sold in our business."

Source: Medindia

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i have suffered for over a year not once did they contact me i have gone out of my mind not knowing what has been wrong its left me disabled they took the sofa away yesterday but the damage is done this only started when i started to use sofas more as we have 2 sitting rooms but my life is not the same now and my daughters suffered too


Has anyone had these problems with sofas purchased in Canada ? I have developed the exact same rash/burn from a new leather sofa, but cannot find anything about this problem being in Canada.


I am disabled , iwanted some comfort, instead I have had months of agony, my doctor gave me barrier cream, eye drops as my eyes ran all the time,two lots of anti biotic s, a terrible burning open weepy rash on my back ,after the news of the land of leather,s leather suite ,causing the problem, my doctor has forbidden me to use my lounge I have spoken to their head office twice ,but the furniture is still here .Chichester store hsa not contacted me What can i do only lie in bed ,as i cannot walk. Have you any suggestions please?


i suffered sofa injury for 3 months purchased another sofa an guess what i have it back again. how do we know what we are buying?

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