Nearly one in ten toys in China unsafe: watchdog

May 31, 2011

China's safety watchdog has found nearly one in ten toys in the domestic market is unsafe, highlighting widespread quality problems in the country's poorly regulated manufacturing industry.

Twenty out of 242 toys selected randomly in eight provinces and metropolitan areas were found to be substandard, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a statement Friday.

Three of the toys contained such as lead and chromium, which can be poisonous, while other products had sharp edges and "dangerous protuberances", the statement said.

The safety watchdog also tested other items including children's shoes, bicycles and baby walking chairs. Up to 20 percent of each product were found to have problems including excessive levels of formaldehyde and durability issues.

The reputation of China's domestic manufacturing industry has been tarnished in recent years by a series of product safety scandals including , toys coated with toxic and dangerous tyres.

Greenpeace said this month that some children's toys sold in mainland China and Hong Kong contained phthalates, chemicals used to soften plastic and said to cause hormone and reproductive problems.

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