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April 2, 2011

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Hidden dangers lurked in kindergarten's quilts

A KINDERGARTEN in the city provided children with quilts filled with dirty recycled cotton likely to be full of bacteria, officials have said.

The Shanghai Institute of Fiber Inspection yesterday seized more than 100 quilts made of "unqualified fiber" at a kindergarten in the Pudong New Area.

At Dongfang Bilingual Kindergarten, officials found quilts filled with short-cut fiber - cotton garments which have been shredded into extremely small pieces - which can cause respiratory problems.

And as the cotton garments had not been cleaned before being cut up, the fiber was very likely to contain bacteria, officials said.

"The material was just off-cut fiber," said Zhang Yanting, an official with the institute. "The country's law says such material cannot be used in articles for daily use."

Parents have complained to the kindergarten that their children are suffering from persistent and unexplained coughs.

Parents suspect that the quilts may have been the cause, said officials.

"Some of our officials began coughing when they removed the quilt covers, so imagine how it is for poor kids who use them every day," said Zhang.

The kindergarten admitted buying the quilts from an illegal business to save money. But when officials went to the address, the manufacturers had gone.

At present, the kindergarten has around 150 pupils, most of whom are children of migrant workers. The school is still waiting for its certificate for running an education institution.

Inspection institute officials said the kindergarten will be fined and the case is still under investigation.

In 2009, a Beijing mother found a dried rat body in her son's pillow provided by a kindergarten in the Chinese capital, leading to a nationwide inspection on textile products.


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