OAKLAND (CN) - Chinese manufacturers are able to sell throughout most of the U.S. formaldehyde-laden baby cribs that would not pass China's own safety standards, said a state prosecutor pursuing five makers of children's furniture under California law.
"The real problem is this country hasn't had emissions standards. Europe and China have tougher emissions standards than us," said Deputy Attorney General Susan Fiering. "In China, they are able to manufacture and export to the United States products which fail Chinese standards but not American ones" .
She is leading the prosecution of five baby furniture makers for failing to warn consumers about dangerously high levels of formaldehyde emitting from their products, after tests revealed levels of the carcinogen substantially above those deemed safe by the Dept. of Public Health.
Formaldehyde is a carcinogen and exposure to its fumes can lead to respiratory problems like asthma.
Tests revealed that children sleeping in cribs made by the companies are exposed to enough of the chemical to suffer from respiratory irritation after normal household chemical emissions are taken into account, accordnig to the Attorney General's office.
In California, manufacturers must clearly warn consumers of any reasonable risks involved in using their products.
If the companies are found to have not warned about the chemical, they face steep financial penalties, up to $2,500 per day for each violation.
The companies being pursued by Fiering are Child Craft, Delta Enterprise Corp., Stork Craft, South Shore Industries, and Jardine Enterprises.
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