Over the years, many studies have shown that common products contain phthalates, BPA, and flame retardants, all of which are toxic materials. Children are particularly vulnerable to these toxins, yet they have been found in a variety of children’s items, including teething toys, strollers, and car seats.
In a 2011 study, 60 percent of the 150 car seats tested contained at least one toxic chemical. Because many children sit in car seats daily and sometimes for prolonged periods of time, parents worried about the health of their children after learning that they could have been exposed to several toxic chemicals. After this study, manufacturers reduced some of the dangerous materials in car seats and other items.
A more recent study from the Ecology Center shows that toxic chemicals in car seats is definitely declining. For the first time in 10 years, none of the 15 car seats tested contained lead, which damages the liver, kidneys, nervous system, and reproductive system. There were also no car seats with chlorinated tris, a carcinogenic material.
The Ecology Center study shows that manufacturers are decreasing the amount of dangerous materials in car seats. However, most car seats still contain some toxins that children should never be exposed to, even in small amounts. Manufacturers have not yet completely eliminated toxins and carcinogens from car seats, so children could still be at risk.
Federal regulations state that manufacturers must prevent flammability in items like strollers and car seats, so almost all car seats contain flame retardant chemicals. These chemicals are also found in strollers, mattresses, teething toys, and other objects, and they all are dangerous and carcinogenic. Many of them also contain developmental toxins.
According to an American Chemical Society study, some flame retardant chemicals will increase the amount of carbon monoxide in the air if the item does catch on fire. Inhaling cheap generic strattera carbon monoxide can lead to death or brain damage. Flame retardant chemicals are also connected to neurodevelopmental delays. Exposure to these toxins during childhood often results in a poor attention span, less fine motor coordination than is typical, and a decrease in cognitive ability.
Adults are also often exposed to these chemicals, but children are at a much greater risk to be harmed. Children are shorter than adults and closer to the ground, so they’re more likely to ingest harmful chemicals. Their neurological system is still developing, so their brain is very vulnerable and their cognitive abilities and motor skills can easily be damaged.
The amount of toxic chemicals in car seats is declining, and hopefully someday there will be no harmful substances in any items children use. Car seats are necessary for safety, and not using one is much more dangerous than potentially exposing a child to these substances. To lower a child’s risk of being harmed by these chemicals, limit the use of the car seat. Only use the car seat while the child is sitting in the car. Avoid car seats that convert into strollers or other carriers. Wash your child’s hands frequently to prevent him or her from transferring chemicals or toxins from the hand to the mouth. Vacuum your car seats frequently, and replace them if they’re more than five or six years old, damaged, or missing pieces.
Being aware of what items contain harmful substances is an important step in lowering a child’s risk of exposure. If you have children, take any precautions you can to prevent them from being harmed by flame retardant chemicals or other toxic materials.
Mark Sadaka from Sadaka Associates, the leading Hazardous Chemical Attorney, has a national practice and works with clients from New York to Alaska.