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Products from Chinese firms found to contain harmful substances


Seoul, June 14: Some of the cosmetics and children's water toys sold on three overseas e-commerce retail platforms have been found to contain harmful substances far exceeding the permitted safety levels, a state-run consumer organisation said on Friday.

In its examination of 88 products sold on Chinese e-commerce retail platforms PDD Holdings' Temu and Alibaba Group's AliExpress and Singapore-based Qoo10, the Korea Consumer Agency (KCA) found 27 products, or 31 per cent, failed to meet the country's safety standards, the KCA said in a statement.

Seven out of 40 cosmetics products turned out to contain harmful substances, such as tar, lead and cancer-causing chrome. Eleven out of 28 water toys for children carried toxic substances like phthalate plasticiser, heavy metals and preservatives, reports Yonhap news agency.

In particular, phthalate plasticiser as much as 295 times higher than permitted levels and cadmium 3.2 times higher than standard levels were found in rubber rings sold by Temu, while lead 65 times higher than allowable levels was found in a 40 colour eye shadow palette sold by AliExpress.

Phthalate-based plasticisers carry the risk of causing infertility and could irritate the eyes and skin. Nine out of 10 auto bicycle helmets sold by AliExpress and Qoo10 didn't satisfy the country's shock absorption standards, the statement said.

AliExpress and Temu have stopped selling products containing toxic substances under their voluntary agreements with the Fair Trade Commission (FTC). The KCA is an agency under the antitrust regulator. Qoo10 also halted the sale of its hazardous products at the recommendation of the KCA.

Last month, the FTC signed agreements with AliExpress and Temu to prevent them from selling harmful products and better protect customers.

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