A French retailer has withdrawn from sale Chinese-made sofas and armchairs after hundreds of buyers said they developed a painful rash from them, Agence France-Presse reported.

Isabelle Hoppenot, spokeswoman for the French retailer Conforama, said the company removed the items in July after a doctor warned they could be linked to an eczema outbreak in one of his patients. The retailer has sold the sofas and chairs since 2005.

Hoppenot said some of the furniture, made by Chinese company Link Wise, contained too much of an anti-mold substance that may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

French newspaper Le Parisien said a dozen people had been hospitalized in serious condition after buying the chairs, AFP reported.

Conforama has received complaints from 400 customers seeking damages. Eight hundred buyers have been given a refund or an exchange, Hoppenot said.

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