May 15, 2008

Excited Delirium Book: Chapter 27 (China News – Poison Found in Kids Clothing)

By liam

Author’s Note: The following is Chapter 27 of the my online book "Excited Delirium". Please post comments. Please tell your friends about this story. If you’ve missed a chapter, please click here for Chapter 1 (Prelude) or here for the full index .


DATE: January 2008

SOURCE: World Social Reporter

NEWS STORY – Chinese Toy Manufacturers Are Being Fined for Illegal Lead Levels

2007 will be remembered as the year when China Poisoned our Children. Many are left asking WHY?

In most cases, there was no obvious intent, but investigations have shown that a growing number of products have unusual levels of lead and other toxins in them. These are products that are built for Americans, especially toys.

The investigations were instigated by the “Save Our Children” (SOC) environmental group, based in California. They did thorough tests of small selections of toys and other manufactured goods as they arrived in North America and found that most of goods tested showed unusual level of lead, benzene, formaldehyde, mercury and other highly toxic chemicals

“Some of the clothing that we tested showed formaldehyde in cotton clothes at levels that were 900 times greater than the ‘safe’ levels, as required by the National Standards Council, or NSC” Tania Tobin, the Director of SOC’s testing division. “We also found that pieces were smaller then requirements set out by the NSC, were painted using lead-based products and generally failed standards as laid out by any international body.”

Generally, the European Union, the only international body that has limitation requirements for clothing, especially for children, allows a maximum 20 part per million (PPM) for new goods.

“In one case, we identified a single product that had formaldehyde content that was 900 times the minimum EU levels,” Tobin said. “This is poison, but we estimate that this one piece of clothing had a distribution level in the hundreds of thousands.”

Burt Jarvis, an online investigative ejournalist, had this to offer to the World Social Reporter: “It’s not clear yet who the culprit is. There are so many American and international companies based in China doing so much work, it’s obvious that they’re the ones who ultimately sanction this kind of ‘cheating’, but at the same time, the competition within Chinese companies to net the lucrative manufacturing and assembly contracts is beyond cut-throat. They are doing anything they can to win this business, including paying off local officials and creating façade organizations that sell legit product to win contracts, just to name a few examples.”

“Some rumours are even floating around that these stories are ‘planted’ by American companies supported by organizations like the Univists that don’t believe in doing any trade with China, because the government suppresses religion.”

He continued: “To make matters worse, very few companies are actually regulated or monitored. It’s the wild west. So far, we’re only talking about toys, but we get everything from China.”

“What we know with absolute certainty: the consumer loses. Ultimately, the best way to protect yourself is to limit what you buy and when you do have to purchase necessities, buy locally and from small businesses that you know.”

In swift and harsh reaction to the news a number of Chinese manufacturers killed the managers of a few plants that allowed lead paint and other toxic products to be used for children’s products.

(Note: "Excited Delirium" is a work of fiction. Any person, place or thing depicted in this work of fiction is also a work of fiction. Any relation of these subjects or characters to real locations, people or things are an unintentional coincidence.)

Read more with Chapter 28

Did you miss a chapter? If so, click here to see all chapters or click here to go to Excited Delirium: Chapter 1 (Prelude)

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Excited Delirium by Liam Young is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License .
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