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DMFu & DMFa Testing

PTS Testing Service offers dimethyl fumarate testing (DMFuU) in products and specialises in dimethyl fumarate in leather, footwear, product or anti-mould sachets which can be conducted within 3 days or less.

PTS Testing Service has experience extracting dimethyl fumarate from leather and other materials. PTS Testing Service has developed a method for detection of dimethyl fumarate and other fungicides with a reliable detection limit of less than 0.1mg/kg. PTS Testing Service advises that immediate due diligence testing of products or parts of products, such as materials prone to mould growth, packaging and silica gel sachets, be carried out.

It is now illegal to have dimethyl fumarate in your products within the EU and therefore essential to have your products tested for DMFu regularly especially if the products have been in contact with silica gel type sachets.

Dimethyl Fumarate –Properties

Dimethyl fumarate has good antifungal properties, and has been associated with mould inhibitor sachets used in finished footwear and furniture. Recently, dimethyl fumarate has been highlighted as being an allergenic sensitizer causing eczema at low concentrations.

Dimethyl fumarate is a methyl ester of fumaric acid, with a chemical structure of C6H8O4. This white crystalline solid is a chemical with preservative properties that diminish over time.

Dimethyl fumarate has good antifungal properties, and as such has been used as a mould inhibitor within sachets in finished leather products. Like all living organisms, moulds need certain basic requirements to grow and multiply; a source of moisture and a source of nutrients.

In wet blue leather the source of moisture is clear. In finished product the level of moisture is much lower and therefore the growth of mould is less. However, when transporting leather between different climates, or if the product is stored in an inappropriate manner, moisture build up in certain areas, such as inside packaging, can readily lead to the growth of mould.

Many of the process chemicals used in the manufacture of leather can act as nutrients for mould growth, for example phosphates, surfactants and fat liquoring agents. Dimethyl fumarate has been found in sachets placed within the furniture structure or inside the shoe box, often labelled as ‘anti-mould agent’. Its function is as a biocide to kill any mould that may arise from storage and transportation from hot and humid climates. In these environments, the volatile dimethyl fumarate in the sachet evaporates and can impregnate the leather. However, it has also been found to severely affect some consumers when they come into contact with these products.

Dimethyl Fumarate (DMF) has fungicidal (anti-mold) properties, but unlike registered leather fungicides, it is a severe irritant.

Unfortunately, there have been incidences of its use to protect furniture and shoes, in products imported into countries includingFranceandBritain.

In response to severe adverse skin reactions, some consumers have recently initiated legal action that has been reported in national newspapers such as the Daily Mail and industry publications such as LEATHER magazine.

In response to these cases, the European Union banned DMF in March 2009 (EU Directive 2009/251/EC).

What is DMFu testing?

DMFu testing is the testing of Dimethylfumarate in products such as finished footwear and furniture. Dimethylfumarate (DMFu) has good anti-fungal properties and has been associated with mould inhibitor sachets used as part of the packaging process for finished footwear and furniture products.

So, if you are a retailer, importer, or manufacturer of finished products that use DMF as the main volatile in the anti-mould sachets, then at PTS Testing Lab, we recommend that you test the finished products for DMFu content.

Why you need to test for DMFu?

DMFu has been highlighted as being an allergenic sensitizer causing severe skin reactions at low concentrations.

It was commonly found that anti-mould sachets were being placed in product packaging or being stapled to products themselves which caused, over time, the volatile DMF to sublime and permeate into the product.

Decision 2009/251/EC lays down the prohibition on DMFu for all goods intended for use by EU consumers or likely to be used by them. More specifically, the prohibition applies to the following products:

Products (or parts thereof) on which the presence of DMFu is stated (e.g. on one or more pouches)

Products (or parts thereof) with a concentration of DMFu higher than 0.1 mg/kg by weight

Potential product recall

If any of your products are in violation of the above safety requirements, they will be refused or withdrawn from the EU market.

The ban and recall of products containing DMFu is to be policed by individual EU member states, but it is important for importers, manufacturers and retailers to be aware of the risks and to address any issues raised. Problems, such as dermal irritation, caused by elevated levels of fungicides can lead to brand damage, and can potentially lead to high costs through proceedings with customers.

N, N- dimethylformamide (DMFa)
N, N- dimethylformamide; English Name: Dimethylformamide; N-Dimethylformamide; or N, also referred to as DMF; CAS:68-12-2 is a colorless, liquid ammonia odor, mainly used as industrial solvents, vitamins, hormones used in the production of pharmaceutical industry, also used in the manufacture of Chlordimeform etc..
N, N- dimethylformamide (DMFa) harm:
Irritating to eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Invasion of the body, mainly by the liver metabolism, excretion faster, the main target organ for the liver, kidney also has some damage, a moderate toxicity.

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