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March 20, 2014

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Shanghai watchdog warns of dangers of plastic cell phone covers

BE wary of your plastic cell phone covers which have been found to contain hazardous toxic plasticizers, the city’s quality watchdog said yesterday.

The watchdog said it checked 50 batches of plastic cement shells of mobile phones, and found six of them containing  poisonous and carcinogenic compound.

Tests confirmed four batches had plasticizers including diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP).

These plasticizers can penetrate into human body if breathed in or is in contact with the skin, which are harmful to health, particularly to children and pregnant women, the Shanghai Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau said.

According to regulations in the United States, BBP, DBP and DEHP should be less than 0.1 percent in products used by children below 12 years of age.

A batch of mobile phone shells made by Shanghai Yuansu Electronics Co Ltd was found to contain 408 milligrams per kilogram of BBP, DBP and DEHP in total, while another batch by Shenzhen Renqing Science and Technology Co Ltd had 70.7 milligrams per kilogram of these plasticizers.

Doctors say plasticizers can impair male sexual function and even cause liver cancer if consumed in large amounts.

In China, there is no set standard on cell phone covers, but in some overseas countries there are restrictions on the amount of plasticizers in plastic cement products.

The batches of shells have been found to contain the substances but did not exceed the maximum amount allowed overseas, which is 1,000 milligrams per kilogram.

Another three batches were found to have carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The highly poisonous compound can damage human genes, lead to cancer of the skin, lung cancer, upper respiratory tract tumor, arteriosclerosis and infertilitas.

Bureau officials urged parents to keep cell phone shells away from  children below three years of age as they are more likely to put it in their mouth.


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