Your Child’s Car Seat May Have Hazardous Chemicals

Before buying a child’s car seat, responsible mothers will carefully review safety ratings for the dozens of brands and simulates on the market. But they should also looking closely at the use of toxic chemicals.

According to a new report from the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, Mich ., toxic flame retardants are still widely used in vehicle seats, even though there’s no data proving they protect children from fires.

Researchers tested 15 baby and toddler vehicle seats from a variety of brands for flame retardants and other toxic chemicals. Brands tested included BabyTrend, Britax, Chicco, Clek, Cosco, Diono, Evenflo, Joie, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Orbit, Recaro, Safety 1st and Graco.

Flame retardants were found in all vehicle seats tested. Brominated chemicals- which are typically lingering and bioaccumulative, and are often toxic- discovered in 13 out of 15 vehicle seats. Compounds detected included carcinogens and hormone disruptors.

The writers say this year’s findings are an improvement from those of previous years, but there is still a lot about which to be concerned. For the first time, flame retardants were found to be widespread in the textiles of vehicle seats , not only in the internal foam cushions.

Because their bodies are still developing, babes and babes who expend many hours in vehicle seats are especially vulnerable to the effects of flame retardants in dust and fumes. Young children also breathe in more air and are exposed to more dust particles relative to body weight than adults. Newborns and toddlers constantly put their hands in their mouths, which can also increase exposure.

But despite these alarming findings, there is good news: vehicle seat manufacturers have made progress in eliminating the worst chemicals.

In 2011, EWG staffers and advocates clipped samples of foam from vehicle seats and other children’s products. Exams found chlorinated Tris, a burn retardant known to make cancer in lab animals, and other extremely toxic chemicals. This time, for the first time since the Ecology Center started testing vehicle seats in 2006 , none contained chlorinated Tris. shark rotator nv752

EWG have all along advocated for the objective of eliminating unnecessary and toxic chemicals from consumer products. Flame retardant chemicals are generally unnecessary and exposures could harm health. A series of EWG analyzes have documented higher concentrations of several flame retardant metabolites in kids compared to their mothers. This could be because kids play on the floor and stick their hands, or other items, in their mouths.

While most baby products no longer contain flame retardant chemicals, federal regulations still involve vehicle seat manufacturers to comply with strict flammability standards. In the 44 years since this regulation passed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has observed no evidence that adding flame retardant chemicals to vehicle seats protects children in vehicle fires.

The Ecology Center cautions mothers that vehicle seats render vital crash protection and that, regardless of chemical peril, they should use them for babes and young children. But some seats are healthier than others. The Ecology Center preserves a database of 355 vehicle seats screened for toxic chemicals.

What simple activities can mothers take? Shark Rotator NV-752

  • Review the report and look for a suitable vehicle seat with fewer flame retardants.
  • Ban eating in the car, if possible, to reduce the amount of flame retardant chemicals that get on kids’ hands and into their mouths.
  • Wash your and your child’s hands often to reduce toxic residues that get into our torsoes through dust- particularly for babes whose normal behavior of exploring is to thrown their hands and other items in their mouths.
  • Vacuum your vehicle and your child’s vehicle seat often.