60% of child car seats found to contain dangerous substances

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 way less than good. May car seats were found to be safe, which is a perk, because it 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 new 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 manufactuers and the govenrment 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.”

But, what can parents do until then? 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.

Below is a list of some of the safest, least toxic seats tested at HealthyStuff…

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+ See the entire HealthyStuff safe and not-so-safe car seat listings.

Lead image via www.HealthyStuff.org.

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  1. brynn says

    Thank you for this post! The new studies have been enlightening, yet so incredibly frustrating! My 10 month old is growing out of his infant car seat, and there is only one convertible car seat on the list of less toxic seats… I have no idea which model to purchase. Any advice?

  2. Jennifer Chait says

    I listed 12 of them – maybe you didn’t hit the read more link? Also, you can see the entire list at the HealthyStuff website.

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