Is tagless clothing causing chemical burns and skin rashes in children?

Does your baby or toddler suffer from red patches on the back of her neck?  Does your baby or toddler wear tagless clothing, such as Carter's onesies?  Are you stumped as to the cause?

Well, it may well be the tagless "tag" causing that skin irritation.  And you thought that the purpose of tagless tags was to prevent skin irritation.  If your child is experiencing a skin reaction, you are not alone.  Blog posts at Z Recomends, and Debra Lynn Dadd's Green Living Q&A and my own blog, TheSmartMama, and the comments document that reports of mild to severe skin reactions to the chemicals used in those tagless "tags" are not isolated.  Some moms have even created blogs to document their children's plight.  Some of the pictures of the skin reactions are truly scary!   

So, what's going on?  Well, Carter's (one of the manufacturers often reported) hasn't been forthcoming as to what is in their tags.  Tagless "tags" are frequently made out of plastisol inks, which can contain phthalates.  Phthalate free plastisol inks are available, but if phthalates are used in the ink, they can cause skin reactions.  (And, by the way, phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals.  6 phthalates were just banned in the US beginning next year.)  Another possibility for tagless tags is to be made from a solvent-based polyurethane cured via a catalyst.  This process can result in two potential irritants being present:  formaldehyde (a carcinogen and irritant) or residual polyisocyanate.

Carter's maintains that the problems reported by parents are a result of a "rare allergic reaction."  I'm not so sure.  But even if the problem is a result of a rare allergic reaction, shouldn't we know that there is a possibility?  Latex, peanuts, and other allergens are identified in products.  Did you know that the tagless tag could have phthalates or formaldehyde?


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