Chemicals in Tagless Labels Causing Chemical Burns & Skin Problems in Babies?

Z Recommends is always on top of issues facing parents, and it recently reports on the “tag” in tagless clothing causing mild to severe skin reactions in babies and infants.  Reading through the comments on Z Recs’ blog post as well as the comments on Debra Lynn Dadd’s Green Living Q&A on the same subject makes it clear that this is by no means an isolated incident – it seems that many children (and even adults) have had reactions to what is in the “tag” of the tagless clothing. 

I was actually a little surprised I hadn’t heard much about it before, espeically since Debra’s blog is from much earlier in the year.  But, it seems from the comments that many parents do not associate the reaction with the tag in tagless clothing, and neither to their doctors.  But, the pictures of one child’s reaction are just frightening.

In fact, one mom is so irate she started a blog to force change and document her daughter’s problems.

What is causing the problem?  According to one of the comments posted on Debra’s blog, two compounds are commonly used for tagless “tags” – one is a plastisol ink and one is a solvent-based polyurethane.

Plastisol inks are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins.  Although there are phthalate-free plastisol inks available, many do have phthalates.  And, according to the commenter on Debra’s blog, unreacted phthalate may be causing skin reactions.

Solvent-based polyurethane is cured via a catalyst.  According to the commenter, this type of process can have two possible skin irritants – formaldehyde (also a carcinogen) or residual polyisocyanate (if a polyisocyanate catalyst is used).

So, if your child is experiencing any skin reactions in and around the area of the tag in tagless clothing (the screen printed tag), you may want to consider whether it is a reaction to the tag.

And, be sure to send any information you have on problems to the good people at Z Recs.  Z Recs has promised to investigate the problem and get back . . . but they are looking for evidence and pictures!


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