Cancer-causing chemical found in swimwear

Levels of a cancer-causing chemical four times China’s national standard have been found in swimwear tested by Shanghai’s consumer watchdog.

In a random inspection of 32 products from 31 manufacturers, 25% failed to meet quality standards, the Shanghai Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau said today.

The watchdog found levels of formaldehyde reached 80mg per kilogram in an Arena-branded children’s swimsuit made by Shanghai Decente Business Co Ltd, four times the national standard, the report said, without mentioning other brands.

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The Arena brand name used by Descente in Japan has no connection to swimwear giant Arena in Europe, which is headquartered in Tolentino, Italy.

Formaldehyde has been classified as a known cancer-causing substance, or human carcinogen, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and as a probable human carcinogen by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Colour-fading that can cause skin conditions, such as itchiness, was also found in some of the garments tested.

Safety hazards were also found with children’s swimwear, including ties being too long.

Manufacturers whose products failed to meet standards have been told to make improvements, the bureau said.

 

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