When it came to buying car seats for our children, my husband and I wanted to make the best decision we could to ensure their safety. Like most parents, we looked at the safety ratings for the seats we were interested in, as well as the customer product reviews and the manufacturer’s comments.
At the time we didn’t know that we should also be looking at the chemicals contained in the materials of the car seat. I knew they were present, as it is required for car seats to be flame retardant, but I didn’t know that there were other chemicals to not only be concerned about, but that with careful research, I could avoid. After all, a child sometimes spends a good portion of time in his/her car seat. I try to avoid having my kids spend unnecessary time in them, but there are times when we do take longer road trips, or the kids fall asleep in the car and I dare not wake them, or I need to run errands and keeping Mae Mae (my nickname for my daughter) in her infant carrier is a lot easier that putting her in separate stroller.
So how do you know if the car seat you are looking at contains high levels of chemicals? One way is to check out HealthyStuff.org. I will include a direct link below. Healthy Stuff is a non-profit organization that uses and creates research conducted by environmental health organizations. They do this because as they state on their site, “The U.S. government doesn’t require full testing of chemicals before they are added to most consumer products…The law that’s supposed to do this, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, is outdated and since then, the EPA has only used its authority to test for fewer than 200 of the 62,000 chemicals in commerce.” They look at many products that both we, and our children, are in contact with daily, such as our cars, toys and pet products. The chemicals they focus on include: lead, cadmium, chlorine, bromine and mercury.
In regards to car seat chemicals, Healthy Stuff tested for bromine, chlorine and lead. I think everyone knows about the dangers of lead, but many people see no harm in bromine or chlorine, after all, how many people use chlorine bleach (which is actually banned in some European countries due to its toxicity). For info on chlorine:http://www.healthystuff.org/departments/toys/chemicals.chlorine.phpAnd for info on bromine:http://www.healthystuff.org/departments/toys/chemicals.bromine.php
After looking at Healthy Stuff’s list of car seats, I was relieved that by chance I had chosen ones with low levels of chemicals.
See how yours rates here, Healthy Stuff’s Car Seat Toxicity List:http://www.healthystuff.org/departments/toys/product.tmsresults.php?