Formaldehyde was detected in most wash-and-wear shirt clothes.

May 23, 1999

Sources: Asahi Newspaper.


Tokyo Metropolitan Res. Lab. of Public Health (TMRLPH) and Nagoya City Public Health Research (NCPHR) published that formaldehyde of toxic chemicals could cause allergic contact dermatitis and headache have been much included in the clothes and so on. 

Formaldehyde is produced worldwide on a large scale by catalytic, vapour phase oxidation of methanol. Annual world production is about 12 million tonnes. It is used mainly in the production of phenolic, urea, melamine and acetal resins, which have wide use in the production of adhesives and binders for the wood, plastics, textiles, leather and related industries. 

These research institutes published Formaldehyde was detected in 90% of the wash-and-wear shirt and 60% of the curtain and carpet rag.  

According to the Law for the Control of Household Products containing Harmful Substances, reading as follows.


official azette name



applicable household goods





  1. Of texitile products, diaper, diaper cover, bib, underwear, pajamas, gloves, socks, middlewear, outerwear, caps and hats and beddings for infants less than 24-mouth-old

1. Undetected







  1. Of texitile products, underwear, pajamas, gloves, socks and tabi(Japanese socks); adhensives used in wigs, false eyelashes, false mustache, or garters

2. Less than 75 ppm (75 microgram per 1 gram of sample) (Aetylacetone method)

According to the intimation of Ministry of International trade and Industry (MITI), Formaldehyde Levels in the fiber to use for the middlewear such as the shirt must not exceed 300ppm. 

TMRLPH collected the household products of 210 items and measured Formaldehyde Levels. As a result, Formaldehyde was detected in 90% of the wash-and-wear shirt, polo shirt and blouse. When the standard (75ppm) of the underwear was applied, 30% of those exceeded it. And, some shirts had high Formaldehyde Levels of 305ppm beyond the standard of the MITI. 

According to the research of the NCPHR, some wash-and-wear products had Formaldehyde Levels beyond the standards of the underwear even after the washing six months.

Furthermore, Formaldehyde detected in 70% of the wallpaper and bran paper, 40% of the curtain, carpet rag and 100% of the bedclothes that they researched.