Somehow that old saying, "You get what you pay for," comes to mind.
A toxic fungicide in imported furniture is behind an outbreak of chronic dermatitis, skin burns, eye irritation and breathing difficulties across the world. Medical experts here are warning consumers to watch for symptoms.
The international journal Allergy has confirmed what thousands of British and mainland European citizens have known for more than a year: new leather sofas imported from China are a hotbed of allergens.
Dimethyl fumarate, in the form of a fine, white crystalline powder, was found in sachets embedded in the furniture sourced to China. It is believed the body heat generated from sitting on a contaminated couch causes a toxic vapour to seep out.
About 200,000 of the suspect couches have been imported by 15 furniture retailers in Britain alone and compensation for victims, some of whom required hospital treatment, could be in the tens of millions of dollars.
The above excerpt is from an article entitled "New Sofas to Blame for Rash of Allergies". It's from the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia).