A batch of clothing imported into New Zealand from China has been found to allegedly carry dangerous levels of the chemical formaldehyde.

The country's ministry of consumer affairs is analysing clothing samples to see whether the allegations, made on a TV show, are true.

The clothing, including school shorts, a T-shirt and pyjamas, had up to 900 times the amount of formaldehyde deemed safe by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to local press.

Radio New Zealand reported that formaldehyde, a chemical used to give a new anti-wrinkle effect to clothes, can cause eye, skin and nasal irritations, respiratory problems, asthma and cancer at sufficient doses.