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LazyBoy sofa
Furniture, Furnishings & Decorations
Sofas, Couches, Davenports, Divans or Studio Couches (679)
La-Z-Boy Incorporated    
LazyBoy sofa
North Carolina
March 25, 2016
Dear Senator [REDACTED]:

We recently purchased a new sofa/loveseat from LazyBoy, Greensboro store, on January 2,
2016. The entire time the sales person was giving us the pitch, she repeated over and over
again Made in the USA. She also told us that the fabric and sofa was under warranty for one
year after purchase. They delivered it to our home on February 9th, 2016. I was at work, so my
husband stayed home to meet the delivery guys. My husband said he noticed a strong chemical
smell when they took the furniture out of the plastic.

On Valentine's Day, I noticed an itchy rash on the tops of both my hands. I didn't think anything
about it. Within one week I was covered on both knees, both arms and my lower legs with a
rash that looked like chicken pox. It was red, inflamed and the itching was severe. I tried to treat
it at home, but nothing was helping. Finally on March 5th, I couldn't take it anymore. I went to
the Urgent Care Center in Randleman. I saw [REDACTED]. He ruled out pretty much every possible
thing that could cause this: shingles, scabies, tick fever, Lyme disease, ringworm, and
Coxsackie virus. He asked me if I had changed soaps, laundry detergents or started any new
meds. I had not, so neither he nor I could think of what was causing the rash. I then went to
Central Carolina Pharmacy to pick up a prescription for [REDACTED] cream to treat the rash.
The pharmacist on duty that day also looked at my arms. She said it looked like contact
dermatitis and also asked if anything had changed in my environment. I told her I thought
maybe I had nickel allergy from a new watch I was wearing, but I quit wearing it and that didn't
explain why the rash was on both arms and my legs.

For two more weeks, I continued to break out in more places with the rash, mostly on the backs
of my legs and both arms. The itching was maddening. I told my husband I thought I might be
allergic to something in the new furniture. He thought I was crazy until I sat down on Saturday,
March 19th, and did an internet search Lazyboy furniture causing itching and rash. I was
shocked at what I read. Several people in the United States have had this same thing happen to
them in the past and it came from new furniture either made in China or the upholstery being
imported from Asian countries. The Chinese are treating upholstery fabric with a chemical called
dimethyl fumarate to prevent mold growth during shipping. Manufacturers in the USA have
known this for the past 10 years, however they fail to disclose this to consumers. Sometimes
this chemical is placed in a paper sachet, like the silica gel sachets you find in prescription
bottles . . Silica is non-reactive, but DMF is highly toxic and is a health hazard. The sachets are
either stapled to the wood frame or sewn into the fabric where you can't see it. Once it hits air, it
vaporizes very quickly and it releases chemicals. It can also penetrate your clothes. There were
so many reports of sofa dermatitis or poison couch in Europe that the EU has banned the
chemical and any imports from countries that still use it. A fund has been set up for victims in
the EU that have been harmed by this substance. However, the USA does not regulate DMF. It
is so reactive that only 1 PPM is enough to cause an allergic response. It causes an acute,
severe eczema that is difficult to treat. The longer you are exposed to the furniture, the worse
the reaction will become. When I realized what I had been exposed to on March 19, I
immediately quit sitting on the sofa. I won't even touch the fabric. I'm afraid to even inhale the
air in our living room. I've started leaving my windows open to air. The rash is starting to clear
up after 1 week of not sitting on the couch, but any kind of water on the skin or sweating
continues to bring the rash to the surface and the itching starts all over again.

I reported this to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. I feel like the use of DMF in
packing and shipping should be banned in the USA. I don't how many people have to suffer
damage until it is banned. I think this problem is more prevalent than people think. Most people
never think about their sofa or loveseat causing a severe dermatitis. Most people would dismiss
it as a pet allergy if they have pets laying on their couch. These chemicals in sofas are so
dangerous, I wouldn't let my dog lay on it, and certainly not children after what lve been through.
Now, we are stuck with about $3000 worth of furniture we can't use and I've got two doctor bills
and meds to pay for out of my own pocket. 1 also have dark spots on my skin where the rash
has started healing. I called the Greensboro store where I purchased the furniture. When I
asked the store manager if they import their fabric from China, he replied, We get our fabric
from all over. I asked him again about China and all he would say was all over. He then said he
could not help me and deferred me to their Customer Care Office (more like Customer Do Not
Care Office.) After speaking to some woman in the Monroe, Ml, office, I believe that Lazyboy
will not provide us with any remedy for this situation we are in. The woman I spoke with was
uncooperative. She refused to tell me where they import their fabric and she wouldn't even tell
me the contents of the fabric, except that it was 100% polyester and legal in the USA. That
wasn't exactly true. The tag under the couch says that it also contains 53% Polyurethane which
is also a skin irritant and is considered a possible human carcinogen. I even read on some of
the blogs that other people who had this happen to them were charged a restocking fee for
returning the furniture and a technician fee to come out and investigate the complaint, even
though this is Lazyboy's fault for lying about their American Made Product. I think American
Made should mean 100% American Made.
Think about all the bad products from China we've seen in the news: dry wall, flooring, dog food,
toys, and seafood. China is killing us one product at the time with the help of American
companies who do business with them. If you want more information, go to
and search for sofa dermatitis or do a general search of dimethyl fumarate in furniture causing
itching and rashes. You will be shocked at what you read. My advice is don't be tempted by all
the sales promotions Lazyboy advertises on TV. The money you save is not worth the exposure
to the chemicals being hidden in the fabric by Chinese manufacturing plants.


1) pictures of the rash (I had it on other areas that could NOT be photographed)
2) copy of medical report
3) Product was Rowan Sofa & Loveseat in Peacock Blue, cover #CC12886 Style #320765 Line item #601050862-008-001
Lazy boy picked up the furniture & agreed to refund us in full on April 18, 2016.
Injury→Injury, Seen by Medical Professional

Incident, No Injury
Comment from La-Z-Boy Incorporated 5/2/2016
This is the second report related to this consumer who developed a rash a week after receiving a La-Z-Boy sofa and loveseat. She attributed the rash to dimethyl fumarate (DMF) in the furniture, but, in fact, there is no DMF in the furniture. Even so, we were sorry that she was so unhappy with our product and arranged to remove it from her home.
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PHOTO 1 X1640223.pdf PHOTO 1 X1640223
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PHOTO 3 X1640223.pdf PHOTO 3 X1640223
PHOTO 4 X1640223.pdf PHOTO 4 X1640223
PHOTO 5 X1640223.pdf PHOTO 5 X1640223
PHOTO 6 X1640223.pdf PHOTO 6 X1640223
Help - Click for help
Associated Reports are a group of Reports submitted to CPSC about the same incident. For example, a person can submit updated information about an incident, resulting in two Reports. Or a witness or another family member can submit information about an incident already reported. When a search is done the primary Report will be listed in the search result along with a link to all of the other Associated Reports.
Associated Report
  • |
  • 4/12/2016
  • |
  • 20160321-49736-2147420799
Incident Description: We bought a sofa and matching Love Seat La-z-Boy Greensboro outlet in January 2016.I think it's called the Rowan ReclinaWay in Peacock Fabric. It was delivered to us on February 9, 2016, before Valentines Day. Shortly after Valentines Day I developed a severe ... (More)
Product: Sofas, Couches, Davenports, Divans or Studio Couches (679)
Product Description: Rowan Sofa and Loveseat, Reclinaway, Peacock blue fabric
Injury Info: Injury, Seen by Medical Professional
Manufacturer / Importer / Private Labeler: La-Z-Boy Incorporated
Business Comments:
(4/8/2016) We are sorry to learn of this consumer’s condition. There is no dimethyl fumarate (DMF) in this product, but we have contacted the consumer to discuss her concerns.

CPSC does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of the Publicly Available Consumer Product Safety Information Database on, particularly with respect to information submitted by people outside of CPSC.