Printing youth tee shirts will be against the law


Will the Consumer Product Safety Information Act (CPSIA) put a halt to screen printing youth tee shirts.Image result for youth tees picture

The new CPSIA regulations briefly state that children’s products must

  • Comply with all applicable children’s product safety rules
  • Be tested for compliance by a CPSC laboratory
  • Have written proof that the product is in compliance
  • Have permanent tracking information affixed to the garment.

Comply with children’s product safety rules

Some of the rules state that no carcinogenic compounds can be used in the printing of the garment. Plastisol inks are loaded with carcinogenic materials. It looks like any printing for the youth market would come under these rules. There are other compounds in plastisol inks such as formaldehyde and petroleum solvents. These rules appear to be a knee jerk reaction by some bureaucrat.

Testing for Compliance

All orders for youth apparel must be sent to a CPSC laboratory for testing. This rule really puts a hamper on rush orders. It is not practical to find a lab for every order one does to get tested.The way it can be interpreted is that every order must go to a CPSC labor for testing. Material safety data sheets cannot serve as a substitute.

Have proof that the product is in compliance

The only way to prove compliance is to obtain proof from a CPSC lab. This regulation will put a stop to any rush orders. General Conformity Certificates (GCC) must be documented. You must produce a GCC certificate for every youth order.

Permanent Tracking information

The objective is to have every order tracked back to the manufacturer. Screen printers are considered manufacturers. Each order after meeting all the rules for compliance must have a permanent marker which shows date of manufacturer, order and batch number to meet the tracking requirements. The label has to be permanent. (printed on the garment) Hang tags are not permitted.

Enforcement is impossible.

The majority of enforcement officers are locate in the Washington DC area. They write the rules but have no way to enforce them. I can’t imagine a enforcement officer coming into a garage based printer”s property to arrest a violator. It’s just plain crazy. Only the super large apparel manufacturers will be able to comply. Does this mean a regular printer will be shut out of the retail market.

As a side note Northwest Custom Apparel is in compliance


About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!