By Fredrica Syren:
When we buy a car seat for our child, our primary concern is safety, especially in case of an accident. We might even look for it to be practical and easy to use. Most of us never think about how the car seat itself might be doused with toxins, posing a danger to the child. It’s unfortunately a sad fact that some child car seats may contain dangerous chemicals such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), lead and heavy metal allergens, including flame retardants. All of these toxins are known to cause reproductive and developmental health problems, and even in some cases, cancer. Children are particularly vulnerable to these toxins since their systems are still developing.
Unfortunately, flame retardants and chemicals are present not just in children’s car seats but also can be found in synthetic materials. The good news is that according to a 2011 test done by Ecology Center, a nonprofit environmental organization, some car seats like Graco Comfort Sport, Chicco KeyFit 30 and Graco Turbo Booster tested very low for chemicals, while Graco Snugride 35, Britax Marathon 70 and Recaro Pro Booster tested very high for chemicals.
Since this research was done, Graco, Orbit Baby, Britax and Clek have released statements saying they are phasing out the use of some of these dangerous chemicals in their car seats. I guess we’ll know only after the next test, which is happening as I write this article.
The main point is that car seats are supposed to save lives, and it’s unfortunate that some contain so many toxins. I think we parents have to voice our disapproval and demand that these companies remove the toxins from their product. Until then, we really have no choice but to find the least toxic choice.