The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Chinese Students Wore Uniforms With Cancer-Causing Dyes

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:45 pm

Students in 21 schools in the Chinese city of Shanghai have been ordered to stop wearing uniforms that were found to contain a dye that causes cancer.

NPR's Frank Langfitt is reporting on the story for our Newscast unit. Here's his report:

"The toxic dye was detected in a batch of uniforms produced by the Shanghai Ouxia garment company, according to the city government. The company, which has stopped production, sold 15,000 school uniforms annually. The state-run Shanghai Daily said the clothing had appeared on quality blacklists for the past several years. Prices of uniforms for primary and middle school students are capped at $24. Some garment makers have cut corners by using low-quality materials."

The Shanghai Daily quoted city government officials as saying students will be allowed to attend schools in regular clothes. The newspaper reported that Shanghai Ouxia, the garment company, had used aromatic amine dyes, which are banned and can cause cancer.

Here's more from the newspaper:

"School officials admitted that they never check suppliers' product quality test reports, a step that is not mandatory in procurement. It was not until recent quality tests by Shanghai quality authorities found the dye that they knew the products were problematic."

But as Frank reported for Newscast, this is not the first quality-related issue in China.

"Other quality-related health hazards here include using recycled cooking oil — or 'gutter oil' — in restaurants. Last year, a man in East China's Shandong province stood trial for selling up to 12,000 tons of gutter oil — much of which he'd allegedly obtained from sewers."

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