Spot checks on the quality of children's clothes made in Guangdong Province have caused alarm, after
half of the items examined failed safety tests, the provincial
Administration of Industry and Commerce revealed on Monday.
The administration checked 91 batches of children's clothes at
22 supermarkets in six cities from January to March, including
Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
Investigators put the items through eight tests, including
levels of formaldehyde, PH value (to determine acidity or
alkalinity) and veracity of the label. Only 50.6 percent of the
clothes passed all the tests.
The most serious discovery was the presence of a harmful dye
called aromatic amine in about 10 percent of the checked
Aromatic amine cannot be washed away, and causes bladder or
urethra cancer if it stays in contact with the skin for a long
period of time, a source at the administration said.
The worst case was 10 times above the legal limit.
Since the dye has no special smell or color, ordinary consumers
cannot identify it.
A total of 32 batches of clothes did not meet the national
standard for PH value, which is between PH 4.0 and PH 7.5. Clothes
with higher or lower PH values damage children's skin, the
Some clothes contained excessive formaldehyde, which can cause
children to suffer bronchitis, insomnia and loss of appetite, as
well as lowering natural resistance to diseases,
Meanwhile, 30 batches of clothes were found to have no content
labels or unqualified labels.
"The lower-level administrations will assign investigators to
inspect markets and stores. Anyone who is still selling dangerous
clothes will be fined, and all offending items will be
confiscated," Hu Yanni, an officer of the administration, told
The administration revealed 51 brands of clothes that failed the
tests, including some well-known names such as Bettyboop, e.baby,
Despite the warning, some dangerous clothes were still on sale
in Guangzhou yesterday.
A number of Bettyboop franchise stores were operating as usual
yesterday, and salespersons said they did not know the details of
"Since well-known brands may also be producing dangerous
clothes, I am very scared and confused about what I should buy for
my little boy," Lin Yingxia, a 25-year-old mother of a newly-born
baby, said. "I think I will choose white colored clothes."
She said the administration should heavily fine guilty
manufacturers and publish all of their names.
Also on Monday, the administration carried out spot checks on
food and toys aimed at children. While the majority of the
children's food passed the tests, 37 percent of the toys
Toys made with cloth had the lowest pass rate, just 16.7
percent, but metal toys were found to be 100 percent qualified.
On the national level, State Bureau of Quality and Technical
Supervision recently did a similar spot check on 74 batches of
children's garments in 74 companies in nine provinces and
municipalities, finding 37.8 percent of products to be
The bureau advised consumers to purchase children's clothes made
from soft, permeable materials. People should read the clothing
labels clearly before they decide to buy.
Experts expressed their concern over the problems
"Children are the future of our country," said Xiao Bin, a
professor at Guangzhou-based Sun Yat-sen University.
"The producers of children's articles should stop making
dangerous items. Parents should be more cautious when they are
purchasing clothes, toys, food or other things for their
(China Daily May 31, 2006)