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EPA strikes laundry detergent from 'green' list

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) pointed out yesterday that one of the “Taiwan Green Mark” laundry detergents — Lion Cold Water Wash — was found to contain an excessive amount of formaldehyde, thereby failing to meet the requirements for green products in a sampling inspection of detergent products.

The EPA published the result of its examination of 33 laundry detergent products, including 14 products with the Taiwan Green Mark label, as well as 29 dishwasher detergent products with 15 labeled as Taiwan Green Mark products. As a result, one of the Taiwan Green Mark laundry detergents has been disqualified from being labeled a green product and seven of the laundry detergents and six of the dishwashing fluids also have labeling issues.

According to the EPA, this inspection was carried out to better understand the general characteristics of detergents that people can find on the market, and it follows up on the Taiwan Green Mark products, hoping to secure consumers' rights. Among all the products, Lion Cold Water Wash fails to meet the standard as a green product and contains more formaldehyde than it should.

The EPA's statistics also show that formaldehyde is used as a preservative in detergents, which may be irritating to the eyes, nose and skin. Exposure to high levels of this element during an extended period may lead to cancer.

The Control and Evaluation Division of the EPA stated that the amount of formaldehyde should be lower than 1000ppm based on the national standard. Yet, a product that is certified for a Taiwan Green Mark should be less than 15ppm. The Lion Cold Water Wash contains 118ppm according to tests, which is almost eight times higher than the standard.

The company had already asked the EPA to examine its product again. If the product really fails to meet the standard, the company will be given a time period to improve. If the situation does not change after this period, the EPA will cancel the Taiwan Green Mark label for this product and demand that the company remove the product from the market.

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