ABOUT 8 percent of garments imported from overseas failed quality tests in the first half of this year, about 1.7 percent higher than the same period last year, city officials said yesterday.

The substandard products were found to have problems in color fastness, PH index and even polyformaldehyde content, the Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau said.

Two batches were found to contain azo dyes, which is banned for links to cancer, officials said. They didn't name the brands.

Substandard products were destroyed or returned, officials said.

Excessive formaldehyde can cause headaches, dermatitis, eczema and even malignant tumors and leukemia, while a high pH index can lead to skin allergies and make people vulnerable to bacteria, doctors said.

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