IULTCS statement on dimethyl fumarate5 February 2009
It has come to the attention of the IUL commission that some news releases regarding the call for banning dimethyl fumarate from consumer articles in the EU may be misleading. A review of some of the mainstream media1 reports show that they correctly report that: ‘The chemical is placed in sachets which are then put inside furniture and shoe boxes to kill mould that would otherwise hurt the products during transport and storage in humid climates.' If this clarification is absent it may be concluded by readers that the fungicide is used during the manufacture of leather.
This is not correct and the oversight places the leather industry and chemical suppliers to the leather industry under unwarranted suspicion. As far as the IUL can determine from initial enquiry, dimethyl fumarate is not used by any tanneries and has not been used by the tanning industry for the preservation of finished leather. In addition, the statement that dimethyl fumarate is ‘often used in everyday consumer products such as leather sofas and shoes' appears to be a gross exaggeration and not an accurate depiction of the facts.
Readers should also not confuse the ‘DMF' acronym which is sometimes used in relation to this issue with other chemistries that are more widely referred to as DMF - eg dimethylformamide and dimethyl furan.