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Safety alert over cheap Chinese goods

Written By Views maker on August 28, 2007 | 8/28/2007


UK trading standards are on alert after Chinese-made clothes in New Zealand were discovered to have up to 900 times the safe level of formaldehyde in them, according to the Mail on Sunday. Clothes made in China have been found to contain high levels of a potentially dangerous chemical used to protect clothes that have to be shipped great distances against mildew. However, long-term exposure to high levels can be harmful, causing problems ranging from minor skin rashes to some types of cancer. Tests discovered formaldehyde concentrations up to 900 times above the safety limit in children's and adults' woollen and cotton clothes from China.
"Wouldn't it be better if the clothing makers didn't put any extra chemicals on new clothing?" One common reason to apply chemicals is mildew. Clothes that are made of natural fibers, such as cotton and linen, can mildew if they are exposed to moisture. Manufacturers use formaldehyde to treat clothes that have to be shipped a long way, say, from Asia to the United States, to prevent mildew.
Formaldehyde has a very sharp odor, and sometimes new clothes that carry formaldehyde-based resins will give off a pungent smell until they are washed. Formaldehyde is also blamed for allergic reactions in sensitive people. If you are a person who suffers from allergies, it is a good idea to wash your new clothes once before wearing them. You won't wash the finishes out completely, but you will reduce them somewhat.

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