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Do Dimethyl FumarateIs Causes Sofa Dermatitis?

By Jeff Frank


I purchased a Flexsteel Latitudes Power Recliner in January, 2020. I have now found out that Dimethyl Fumarate Sachet Packets were likely inserted into the framework of the recliner. We have researched the DMF extensively and have found out that sofa dermatitis is caused by this chemical. 

This product we know was manufactured in China since we looked under the chair. We were thinking we had purchased something made in the USA. We were not informed by the dealer that this chair was made in China. 

Can you confirm whether the DMF was used in this line of recliners? I have read that it can produce chemical burns from sitting on it. The packets of DMF dissolve over time and permeate the pleather. Our upholstery man has looked at it and the seat is pleather and not real leather. We have no recourse but to junk the chair as I have a dermatitis issue which I believe to have come from this chair. Thank you!

August 24, 2020


Thank you for your information. I had not heard of this before, but after some brief research it appears that this is a known problem with imported furniture.

DMF is apparently used to control fungus and other moisture related problems occurring in overseas containers.

Here is an article I came across on this topic. It appears to confirm everything you are saying.

Treatment and Prevention of Dimethyl Fumarate Allergy

Flexsteel’s Latitudes is made in China. Most retail salespeople either don’t know that or neglect to inform their customers.

Due to recent tariffs and trade restrictions, Flexsteel (and many other furniture manufacturers) are attempting to move their Asian facilities from China to Vietnam and other countries in the region. Furniture imports from China have been rapidly declining over the past few years.

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