China-Made Children's Products Unsafe Says State Media

Clothing and furniture contain harmful chemicals

Nearly half of the clothing and a third of the furniture made for children in China's top manufacturing province is unsafe, with many products containing harmful chemicals, state media said on May 28.

The discovery was made in an official investigation by authorities in the southern province of Guangdong, the center of China's manufactured export industry, the China Daily reported.

It said just 53.5% of garments surveyed met safety standards, with many containing excess amounts of formaldehyde, a chemical that can cause skin or respiratory infections.

As for children's furniture, 67.7% of it was deemed safe, with some of the questionable products containing too much formaldehyde or health-endangering heavy metals including lead, cadmium and chromium.

"The main reason for the excessive content of formaldehyde and heavy metals is the use of substandard raw materials and paints," said Lin Ruixi, spokesman for the province's product safety administration.

The investigation found that 95% of the toys made in Guangdong were safe, the report said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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