Chinese clothing may be toxic

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Baby Essentials, Decor

Lead has gotten a lot of press lately, especially with the recent recalls of a whole lotta Mattel toys. Lead, however, is not the only problem you may encounter with products made in China. A New Zealand investigative television show is set to reveal that scientists found 500 times the safe amount of formaldehyde in woolen and cotton clothing made in China.

Research supported by the World Health Organization has shown that as little as 20 parts per million of formaldehyde is enough to cause eye, skin and nasal irritations, respiratory problems, asthma and cancer. In Europe, formaldehyde residues in children's clothes are limited to a maximum of 30ppm. The chemical is used to give a permanent press effect to clothes; clothing should be washed before wearing.

Formaldehyde, unfortunately, isn't the only issue. Chemicals, such as dyes that won't wash out like formaldehyde, were also found in clothing made in New Zealand from Chinese fabric. Apparently, even buying brand names won't protect you. Now, according to one politician, there is a "complete lack of consumer protection for most products in New Zealand." That may be true and we might have stricter regulations here in the states, but given the huge numbers of children's products sold containing lead, I'm not sure that that really offers any comfort.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.