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30% of kids’ clothes fail quality tests

2012-05-29 16:08 Global Times     Web Editor: Xu Rui comment

Over 30 percent of children's clothing brands were found to have quality problems such as excessive levels of poisonous chemicals, Beijing Consumer Association (BCA) confirmed yesterday.

Among the 63 groups of samples produced or sold by 47 enterprises nationwide, 33.3 percent failed the latest quality control tests for color fastness, formaldehyde content and pH index.

The samples were randomly selected from shopping malls, supermarkets and online stores by the association, including Zhongyou Department Store in Xidan, New China Children's Store in Wangfujing, and VANCL online store.

According to the China General Chamber of Commerce, where the samples were sent for testing, 10 samples failed the tests for poor color fastness, including products from brands such as Mothercare, Jeep and Jacadi.

"When people sweat, the dye in clothes with poor color fastness will bleed out of the fabric and go into the skin. And children are more fragile, so the dye can be harmful to their health," said test center director Li Xiuying. 

Another 10 groups of samples were found to have been falsely labeled.

"False labeling misleads consumers. Parents prefer cotton clothes for kids, especially infants, but tests found some textiles which were not cotton were labeled as 100 percent cotton," Li noted.

Li further explained that three samples were found to have excessive formaldehyde content, which can be an irritant to children's eyes and skin.

The national standard for children's clothing is at most 75 milligrams of formaldehyde per kilogram, but some products were found to have 179 milligrams a kilogram. Excessive formaldehyde can lead to headaches, dermatitis, eczema and even malignant tumors and leukemia, experts have warned.

"Most problems with the clothes can be solved or alleviated by washing, but it's hard to remove a material called aromatic amine contained in dye, which may cause cancer in serious cases," Li said.

A sample that had no manufacturer's label sold at Bairong World Trade Center, Dongcheng district, was found to contain a material which can break down aromatic amine.

A mother, surnamed Dong who has a 4-year-old daughter, complained that although she chose well-known brands for her daughter, it seemed they still all had problems. 

"These manufacturers just want to make money, but never consider the harm to kids," she said.

BCA also suggested parents pay attention to accessories on children's clothing, such as metal items, since they can also cause danger for children.

"We've sent the results to the industry and commerce department, and it will punish the companies and shops involved," a BCA official said yesterday.

The Legal Mirror reported yesterday that Bairong has removed the products that failed the tests, and fined the store which sold that product.

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