Chinese Blankets Recalled Over Chemicals

Recall taking place in Australia and New Zealand

In Australia and New Zealand, Chinese-made blankets are being recalled because they contain high levels of potentially dangerous formaldehyde, importer firm Charles Parsons said Aug. 22. The company said the said the level of fomaldehyde in the Superlux brand of blankets "may cause short-term skin or respiratory irritation."

The recall came as New Zealand's Ministry of Consumer Affairs said it planned to start testing Chinese-made clothing for formaldehyde next week. But ministry general manager Liz MacPherson said there were no New Zealand standards for the safe level of formaldehyde in clothing.

New Zealand television consumer program Target reported earlier this week that some clothing imported from China contained levels of formaldehyde 900 times higher than was believed safe. Formaldehyde is used to prevent creasing in clothes and fabrics but is also linked to health problems ranging from skin complaints to cancer.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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