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China Issues First Mandatory National Textile Standards For Children’s Clothing

China’s youth will now have access to safer apparel.

The Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China (SAC)  issued the country’s first mandatory national textile standards for children’s clothing, in honor of International Children’s Day on Wednesday, China Daily reported.

“The standards are expected to guide manufacturers to improve the safety and quality of children’s clothing to ensure infants’ and children’s health and safety,” SAC spokeswoman Li Jing said.

The quality supervision administration created the new standards after nationwide textile product inspections last year revealed that more than 10 percent of products designed for children, including apparel, failed its safety regulations.

Textiles are divided into two types under the new standards: materials for infants 36 months or younger; and children from the ages of 3 to 14.

According to China’s Chemical Inspection and Regulation Service (CIRS), the National Standard GB 31701-2015 Safety Technical Code for Infants and Children Textile Products updated requirements for chemical safety and mechanical safety. Six plasticizers and two heavy metals  (cadmium and lead) were limited from children’s apparel. Cords, stipulations and combustibility were also altered under the standard’s requirements for mechanical safety. Cords were banned from the neck area of clothing for kids under 7 and sharp stipulations were also eliminated from all children’s apparel.

The new standard also breaks children’s apparel into three safety regulation groups: Category A includes all infant textile products and is very rigid in terms of appropriate materials; Category B involves any products created for direct skin contact and they must meet or go above the standard’s guidelines at this level; and Category C is the least rigid and involves children’s clothing not designed for direct skin contact.

There will be a two-year transition period for full compliance across China. From June 1 to May 30, 2018, manufacturers will be allowed to sell any products that passed the original textile product standards. After this time period, any future products must comply with the updated standards.