PARIS – A popular French clothing chain has stopped selling Chinese-made boots and shoes containing an anti-fungal sachet previously blamed for causing rashes, the store said Thursday.
The store, Etam, pulled the product off its shelves cut commercial ties with the supplier and forbade its other suppliers from using the sachets.
They contain dimethylfumarate, meant to fight humidity and mold. But the substance was blamed in a similar case in France, when chairs were withdrawn from sale after buyers complained of rashes.
A statement by Etam said a client developed an allergy after wearing her new boots. A dermatologist she visited blamed the rash on dimethylfumarate. Etam says 1,000 people bought the footwear.
A link between the allergy and the sachets has not been formally established, the statement said. An independent laboratory is conducting tests, with results due later this month, according to the statement.
Etam spokeswoman Florence Troy said one style of boots and a range of high-heeled shoes were withdrawn from 250 stores.
French furniture store Conforama warned clients in July that some of the Chinese-made recliners it sold presented an allergy risk "in rare cases." It linked the risk to dimethylfumarate and withdrew the chairs.
Conforama also severed ties with the supplier and ordered other suppliers not to use the anti-fungal chemical.
An array of made-in-China products are presenting health risks, the most serious being baby formula made from milk powder tainted with the industrial chemical melamine which has entered the food chain and caused deaths and illnesses.
Contaminated seafood, toothpaste, candy and a pet food ingredient, also tainted with melamine, have all raised health concerns.