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March 2, 2012

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Too much formaldehyde in Vanke complex floors

SHANGHAI-BASED A&W Woods Co. Ltd yesterday apologized to customers in a southern Chinese city after its flooring was found to contain excessive formaldehyde.

Vanke Group, China's biggest property developer, yesterday said the formaldehyde content in A&W's Anxin flooring installed in one of Vanke's properties in Foshan, Guangdong Province, was 1.9 milligrams per liter, 0.4mg/L more than the country's E1-Level standard for wood flooring, which stipulates that formaldehyde content should be lower than 1.5mg/L.

The flooring, covering about 3,000 square meters, was installed in 104 apartments in a residential building in Foshan, among which 25 apartments have been occupied. The batch of the flooring wasn't used in any other projects of the company, said Vanke.

A&W yesterday apologized to consumers. In a statement published on its official website, the company said it will destroy the unqualified products and provide new ones to the building immediately. The company will also discuss compensation plans with the consumers, said the statement.

It marked the latest development of Anxin's quality saga.

Woman resumes attack

A woman who claimed there were problems with Anxin's floors went on the attack again despite that tests by Shanghai authorities found no problems with the product.

The Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision said yesterday that tests had found the flooring complied with the country's standard for formaldehyde.

Shen Weimin, deputy director of the bureau, said samples were taken from the company's warehouse and it believed they represented the "general quality of the Anxin flooring the developer uses."

The bureau said its tests were based on the country's E1-Level standard.

Two weeks ago, Li Xiaoyan, who said she was a deputy editor-in-chief for a construction materials magazine, published an online post alleging that Anxin flooring released excessive amounts of formaldehyde, a chemical linked to cancer.

She said the flooring was installed in residential projects all around the Chinese mainland, including in Shanghai, Chongqing and Guangzhou.

The bureau tested 24 batches of flooring taken from A&W's warehouse in Shanghai.

In her latest post, Li accused Vanke of once promising that all its flooring was of E0-Level standard, which meant formaldehyde content lower than 0.5mg/L.

"Now Vanke says the country's standard is E1-Level, and it obviously has broken its promise," Li said.

The bureau said there is no E0-Level standard under Chinese law or regulations.


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