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Test reveals children's footwear contains toxic chemicals: BSMI

TAIPEI -- Six out of 19 children's footwear samples recently tested contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals at levels 100 times greater than the maximum levels permitted, while two contain carcinogens.

The tests were carried out by the Consumers' Foundation and the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, on 19 samples of children's shoes priced between NT$190 (US$6.32) and NT$942.

The results show that 10 samples were substandard, representing a failure rate of 53 percent. Meanwhile, seven samples were not in compliance with regulations in the category of “quality testing” and six were mislabeled.

Six samples were found to contain eight types of phthalate-based plasticizers and compounds at levels 100 times greater than the maximum permissible levels.

Phthalate is a type of environmental hormone that can cause male feminization and may increase the risk of developing breast cancer in women. It can also affect infant growth.

Higher-than-allowed levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were also found in the products. PAH is considered a carcinogenic that can cause skin, lung, gastric and liver cancer.

The local manufacturers will face fines ranging from NT$20,000-NT$200,000 if they fail to make improvements, the inspection authorities said.

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Pairs of shoes are displayed in Taipei, yesterday. Six out of 19 children's footwear samples recently tested were found to contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals at levels 100 times greater than the maximum levels permitted, while two contain carcinogens. The tests were carried out by the Consumers' Foundation and the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection. (CNA)

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