HealthyStuff.org releases new test results for a variety of products throughout
the year. Our findings section highlights the latest set of test results,
discusses overall trends and important findings for each set of products
2011 Childrens Car Seat Findings
Consumer products throughout our economy, including children's car
seats contain harmful chemicals that are linked to reproductive problems,
developmental and learning disabilities, hormone imbalances and cancer.
Over 150, 2011-model car seats were sampled from retail locations based
in Michigan. This is a follow-up study to car seats sampled in 2008 (131)
and 2009 (58).
Brands tested include: Alpha Sport, Baby Trend, Britax, Chicco, Clek,
Combi, Compass, Dorel Juvenile Group (Cosco, Eddie Bauer, Maxi-Cosi, Safety
First), Evenflo, Fisher Price, Graco, Harmony Juvenile, Orbit Baby, Peg
Perego, Recaro, Sunshine Kids, Teutonia, The First Years.
Brominated flame retardant chemicals that are either deemed toxic or
that lack adequate health safety data were detected in 44% percent of the
2011 car seats tested.
Over half (60%) of car seats contained one or more hazardous chemicals
tested for (including PVC, BFRs and heavy metals).
Overall, car seats are improving. Between 2008 and 2011:
average seat ranking improved by 64% (1.5 - 2009 to 0.9 - 2011);
number of car seats with BFRs declined by 18% (63% 2009 to 44% in
However, some companies continue to use more potentially hazardous BFRs
in their products than others in the industry. These include Baby Trend
(100%), Recaro (100%), and Britax (84%).
Best and Worst Car Seats
Worst 2011 Car Seats:
Infant Seat: Graco Snugride 35 in Edgemont Red/Black & Graco SnugRide
30 in Asprey
Convertible Seat: Britax Marathon 70 in Jet Set & Britax Marathon
Booster Seat: Recaro Pro Booster in Blue Opal & Recaro ProSPORT Toddler
Best 2011 Car Seats:
Infant Seat: Chicco KeyFit 30 in Limonata, Graco Snugride 35 in Laguna
Bay & Combi Shuttle 33 in Cranberry Noche
Convertible Carseat: Graco Comfort Sport in Caleo, Graco MyRide 65
in Chandler and Streamer, Safety 1st OnSide Air in Clearwater, and Graco
Nautilus Elite 3-in-1 in Gabe
Booster Seat: Graco Turbo Booster in Anders
There are healthy car seats!
Car seats are necessary to safeguard children in cars, but hazardous
chemicals are not necessary to make a quality car seat for children
and infants. The majority of seats are now manufactured without BFRs.
The best car seat list above contains are examples of seats which
do not contain PVC or Lead and do not use brominated flame retardants.
HealthyStuff.org only tests for a limited set of chemicals
of concern. Car seats may also contain other chemical hazards, including
chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs), which were NOT tested for in this
study. HealthyStuff.org is asking all car seat manufacturers to disclose
and eliminate all hazardous chemical additives in their products.
CAR SEATS SAVE LIVES. ALWAYS USE CHILD SAFETY SEATS, REGARDLESS OF THE
RATINGS AT HealthyStuff.org. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE SAFE USE OF CAR
SEATS, SEE CAR-SAFETY.ORG OR THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS.
NOTE: HealthyStuff.org is an initial screening of chemicals
in products for a handful of hazardous chemicals. There are a number
of chemicals of concern that the X-ray
fluorescence (XRF) device and HealthyStuff.org cannot detect. For
example, there has been much concern recently about bisphenol A, a component
of polycarbonate plastic. The XRF device is not able to detect bisphenol
A, nor can it identify polycarbonate. In addition, the XRF device cannot
detect phthalates, a family of chemicals of concern, although we have
used the presence of PVC plastic as a surrogate for the likely presence
HealthyStuff.org ratings do not provide a measure of health risk
or chemical exposure associated with any individual product, or any individual element or related chemical. HealthyStuff.org
ratings only provide a relative measure of high, medium, and low level of concern or concentrations
of several hazardous chemicals or chemical elements in product in comparison to criteria established in the methodology.