Study Finds Toxic Chemicals in Child Car Seats

Recent research suggests that nearly half of all children’s car seats may contain chemicals deemed toxic to children and often they have not had enough safety review to be considered safe. 

The study was published earlier this month by HealthyStuff.org, which tested 150 car seats from leading manufacturers for a variety of chemicals and compounds that could be hazardous to children.

BFR chemicals, which have been deemed toxic or at least questionable, were found in 44% of all car seats. In addition, approximately 60% of the car seats tested contained one or more other hazardous chemicals, such as PVC, BFRs or heavy metals.

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Researchers determined that the worst offenders were car seats made by Baby Trend and Recaro, all of whose car seats tested positive for potentially hazardous brominated flame retardants (BFRs), which some European countries have banned as a potential health risk for children.

The organization did indicate that the amount of toxic chemicals in car seats is dropping, making car seats safer over time. Since 2008 the average car seat ranking improved by 64%, and the number of car seats with BFRs decreased by 18%.

HealthyStuff.org stressed in its report that people should always use a car seat for infants and children regardless of the group’s ranking, but pointed out that hazardous chemicals are not necessary to make a quality car seat for infants and children.

The researchers also noted that the process used to detect the BFRs and other toxic chemicals in the car seats, known as X-ray fluorescence, is not able to detect a number of chemicals of concern, including Bisphenol A or polycarbonates.

The study comes several months after a similar report was published regarding the continued use of banned carcinogens in baby products.

Note: The image above is used for illustrative purposes only and does not reflect any product involved in this report.

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