Lat week the nonprofit Ecology Center, at the consumer-friendly site, www.HealthyStuff.org released the latest findings on toxic chemicals in children’s car seats, and the news is not good. Many car seats were found to be safe, which shows that car seat manufacturers can make non-toxic car seats.
However, of all the 2011 car seats tested, a full 60% tested positive for one or more of the following substances: bromine (associated with brominated flame retardants); chlorine (indicating the presence of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC and plasticizers); lead; other heavy metals and allergens.
It’s hard to be picky as a parent, because you simply cannot slack on car seats. If you’ve got a child who is riding around in your car, then you 100% need a car seat. Still, this is frustrating, because you also don’t want your child exposed to more toxins than necessary. According to this research, car seat chemicals are particularly bad because your child spends so much time in his seat, plus, kids are hot little pumpkins. As your child heats up, his body heat may help speed up the time in which dangerous substances heat up, which then releases the substances, exposing your child to them in a more extensive way.
What would be best is if car seat manufacturers and the government would hop on board the chemical safety train. As Andy Igrejas, Director of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition, puts it:
“This study is yet another example of how our country’s major chemicals law — the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 — is flawed and fails to protect children from hazardous chemicals. Databases such as HealthyStuff.org can provide consumers with valuable information, but reforming our federal regulatory system so that harmful chemicals don’t end up on the market in the first place is long overdue.”
What can parents do in the meantime?
Well, buy a more safely rated car seat of course. The HealthyStuff car seat ratings make it easier to find a safer, less toxic car seat. The best car seat list on the HealthyStuff contains plenty of seats which do not contain PVC or Lead and do not use brominated flame retardants.
What I’d also do, is cross-check car seats on the less toxic list with a consumer site that tests car seat function and all-around quality, such as Consumer Reports. You want a less toxic car seat that’s also got the features and ease-of-use you require. Oh, and when you use the car seat ratings, pay attention to little things like color. I noticed that many of the car seats listed as safe, for the most part, aren’t in rainbow bright colors – I’m guessing certain colors need chemicals to make them more colorful, hence the rating.
Some of the safest, least toxic seats tested at HealthyStuff…
- Graco Turbo Booster Seat in Anders
- Graco SnugRide 35 Infant Car Seat in Laguna Bay
- Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat – Limonata
- Combi Shuttle 33 Infant Car Seat – Cranberry Noche
- Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat – Cubes
- Graco SnugRide 30 Infant Car Seat – Mirabella
- Baby Trend Flex-Loc Infant Car Seat – All Star
- Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat – Extreme
- S1 by Safety 1st onBoard35 Air Infant Car Seat – McKenna
- Graco SnugRide 35 Infant Car Seat – Hathaway
Lead image via www.HealthyStuff.org.