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Back Home Infant News News More Than Half of 2011 Car Seats Contain Hazardous Chemicals

More Than Half of 2011 Car Seats Contain Hazardous Chemicals

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The Ecology Center has discovered that approximately 60% of car seats contain hazardous chemicals such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) brominated flame retardants (BFR) and heavy metals. The results have been published on, a website which provides a database for consumers of toxic chemicals found in toys and other children's products, cars, home improvement products, pet products and apparel.

The results of this study are concerning since these chemicals are linked to allergies, reproductive disorders, developmental





disorders, liver toxicity and cancer. In addition, chemical release is enhanced with exposure to heat and ultraviolet rays from the sun which can then be absorbed through a child’s skin and enter the body.

An X-ray fluorescence (XRF) device was used to test over 150 car seats (2011 models).  This device tested for bromine, chlorine, lead, antimony, arsenic, chromium, cobalt, copper, mercury, nickel and tin. Although many chemicals were tested for, the XRF device was not able to test for other types of flame retardants and chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA).

The study concluded that although many car seat manufactures are reducing the number of chemicals used in their products when compared to the study conducted in 2008, there are still toxic chemicals of concern being used in some brands of car seats.

Check out this year’s Best and Worst Picks:

Car Seat Type

Best Picks

Worst Picks


  • Chicco KeyFit 30 in Limonata
  • Graco Snugride 35 in Laguna Bay
  • Combi Shuttle 33 in Cranberry Noche
  • Graco Snugride 35 in Edgemont Red/Black
  • Graco SnugRide 30 in Asprey


  • Graco Comfort Sport in Caleo
  • Graco MyRide 65 in Chandler
  • Graco MyRide 65 in Streamer
  • Safety 1st OnSide Air in Clearwater
  • Graco Nautilus Elite 3-in-1 in Gabe
  • Britax Marathon 70 in Jet Set
  • Britax Marathon in Platinum


  • Graco Turbo Booster in Anders
  • Recaro Pro Booster in Blue Opal
  • Recaro ProSPORT Toddler in Mist

Find the results for all 150 car seats tested (click on link below and locate car seat by brand and model):

  • Infant Seats
  • Convertible Seats
  • Booster Seats

Remember, car seats are a must and the law requires children to be restrained when traveling in a vehicle. These new findings allow parents and caregivers to choose car seats that not only protect their child for serious injury in the event of a crash, but also one that reduces their child’s exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.

                  Hazardous Chemicals in Some Car Seats

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 Source: Hazardous Flame Retardants and Chemical Additives Found in Over Half of 2011 Child Car Seats Tested by




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