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Toxic Sofa Compensation Claims, Leather Furniture Leaves People with Chemical Burns


A slightly more unusual story in the press recently was that of the “toxic sofas” – leather upholstered furniture made in China using dangerous chemicals that left thousands of people in the UK with serious chemical burns. Now a court case expected to cost retailers several millions of pounds is reaching its conclusion. Big names such as Argos, Walmsleys and Land of Leather are implicated in the case, along with 11 other smaller furniture retailers.

The burns were caused by an anti-mould chemical known as DMF, a toxic white powder used by some manufacturers in china to keep their products free from mould during storage in humid areas. The powder is usually kept in sachets around the furniture, however, when it gets hot, the DMF evaporates into the air, penetrating the leather and reaching the skin of anyone sitting on the sofa, where it causes painful blisters and sores.

The BBC took the lead in exposing the extent of the problem, with consumer affairs programme Watchdog launching an investigation into the problem after programme-makers were contacted by some of those affected. As a result of the TV publicity, thousands of people came forwards when they realised they too had been suffering similar, seemingly unexplained symptoms.

European Union officials are also taking action to prevent the use of DMF in furniture products. A new directive is being brought in requiring traders to remove any goods which contain the chemical from sale, and to recall many items that have already been sold. If the UK court case is successful, then around £10 million in compensation could be paid out to 1600 people who claim to have been affected by their exposure to this dangerous chemical.

If you have suffered a reaction to any products you have bought, such as cosmetics, cleaning products and even soft furnishings, then call Camps Solicitors today to find out if you have the grounds to make a claim for faulty products compensation. Our solicitors believe you should be able to buy soft furnishings and other products free from dangerous chemicals that may cause injuries to you or family. For a free initial consultation to find out whether you have a claim, call Camps ( on Freephone 0800 092 8586.



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