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.

The latest safety alert over cheap Chinese goods was sounded in New Zealand. It has been passed on to trading standards officials in Britain. Formaldehyde resins have been used on fabrics for decades to make wrinkle-free and stain-resistant-garments. The chemical can be used, for example, to keep the crease in trousers. Bryan Lewin, chairman of the Trading standards Institute, said: "We would expect trading standards departments here to carry out tests to establish formaldehyde
levels. At the same time, there is a general-requirement on importers, manufacturers and retailers to ensure that the consumer products they are selling are safe."

 

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