I was happy when tagless shirts came out, I hated that scratchy feeling. I figured my girls did as well, and resorted to cutting the tags out of clothing until the tagless shirts came along. But it seems some babies and smaller children are having very nasty reactions to the ink used in the tagless clothing.

Luiza Carneiro's baby girl had very severe reactions to the tagless shirts, made by Carter's. As you can see from the pics below and on her blog, this was more than a little rash, this was painful for the little girl.

bad rash


But this isn't an isolated incident. Reports have started appearing online involving not just Carter's clothing, but also Circo and Gerber. And when a curious mom started noticing the ink on the tag fading and breaking away, she wondered if it was safe. As you can see here, many moms wrote back to tell her that they too had noticed problems with the tagless shirts.

Emily stated "My six month old son has an AWFUL contact rash where his skin has been in contact with tagless 'tags.'"

And Genevieve explained "My son also has a horrible reaction to tagless print. He develops a large red welt at the site of contact."

However, the message board also produced some information from an industry insider, explaining just what kind of nasty chemical cocktail goes into the tagless inks.

"One is a plastisol type, which is the same basic material that the large designs on the front of t-shirts is made of... the ink is a PVC blended into a phthalate... at a certain temperature the PVC melts and the 2 components form a solid... that solid is transferred to the shirt with heat and pressure... this type of ink is on the way out as phthalates are now being classified as hazardous... residual phthalate from not fully fused ink is what is most likely causing the reaction.

The other type of ink is a solventborne polyurethane that is post cured via a catalyst... typically a polyisocyanate... this ink can have 2 possible irritants... small levels of formaldehyde in the urethane or residual polyisocyanate that is left unreacted..."

As parents, we know just how sensitive the skin of our little ones is, and putting it in contact with these irritants may not be the best idea. 

So far, Carter's seems to be refunding anyone who's having an issue with the tagless shirts and onesies. If you can find them, maybe switch back to the tagged clothing and simply remove the tags yourself. That way, your child's skin is not coming into contact with the ink.

If that's not possible, cover the tag with some of that medical tape that's used on bandages. That should keep the ink away from your child's skin.

And if anyone else is having an issue with these tagless shirts, let us know.  The Consumerist is also following this story, and they seem to think a lawsuit is in the works. Not sure if I care about that, this isn't about money, it's about keeping our children safe and in good health.