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On the 17 March 2009 the Commission of the European Communities adopted a Decision requiring Member States to ensure that products containing the biocide dimethylfumarate (DMF) are not placed or made available on the market.
DMF is a biocide preventing moulds that may deteriorate primarily (but not exclusively) leather furniture or footwear during storage or transport in a humid climate. Dimethylfumarate can often be found in little pouches fixed inside of furniture or added to footwear boxes.
DMF penetrates through the clothes onto consumers' skin where it can cause painful skin contact dermatitis.
Member States are required as of 1 May 2009 to ensure products containing DMF are prohibited from being placed or made available on the market. Also, Member States must ensure that products containing DMF and already placed on or made available on the market are withdrawn from the market and recalled from consumers and that consumers are adequately informed of the risks posed by such products.
Trading Standards have been directed to enforce these requirements using powers available to them under The General Product Safety Regulations 2005. The Commission Decision is a temporary measure which will be renewed each year until a new standard is adopted.
The contact at BIS is Michael Porter.