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Kids' car seat tests reveal chemicals
August 3rd, 2011
12:34 PM ET

Kids' car seat tests reveal chemicals

More than half of 2011 model children’s car seats contain one or more potentially hazardous chemicals, but the seats fared far better than previous years, healthystuff.org found.

Healthystuff.org, a project of the environmental non-profit The Ecology Center, found “chemicals of concern” in 60% of the more than 150 seats tested, including brominated flame retardants, arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury.

Even so, the website calculated a 64% improvement between 2008 and this year’s seats.

“There’s been a not-so-quiet consumer revolution around chemical hazards in consumer products. The smart and strategic companies are quickly moving to make healthier products, and I think are going to have competitive advantage doing that,” said Jeff Gearheart, research director for Healthystuff.org.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta investigates: Toxic America

Healthystuff.org picked the chemicals of concern based on studies showing links to reproductive problems, developmental and learning disabilities, hormone imbalances and cancer.

Healthystuff.org tested for the presence of the chemicals using an X-ray fluorescence analyzer. The website did not test to see whether any of the chemicals were coming off the product and potentially exposing children.

All Baby Trend and Recaro seats tested contained brominated flame retardants, while more than four in five Britax seats did.  44% of all seats tested contained the chemical, which the Environmental Protection Agency says may cause liver, thyroid and neurodevelopmental toxicity.

Healthystuff.org ranked the best and worst seats based on how much chemicals of concern they contained. The findings have no bearing on how well these seats would do in a car accident.

Best Infant Seats: Chicco KeyFit 30 in Limonata, Graco Snugride 35 in Laguna Bay, and Combi Shuttle 33 in Cranberry Noche.

Best Convertible Car Seats: 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.

Best Booster Seat: Graco Turbo Booster in Anders.

Worst Infant Seats: Graco Snugride 35 in Edgemont Red/Black, Graco Snugride 30 in Asprey.

Worst Convertible Seats: Britax Marathon 70 in Jet Set, and Britax Marathon in Platinum.

Worst Booster Seats: Recaro Pro Booster  in Blue Opal, and Recaro ProSPORT Toddler in Misty.

Healthystuff.org listed the Graco Snugride 35 in both the best and worst performers for infant car seats, possibly because of the different fabrics.

CNN contacted Graco, Britax and Recaro, or their public relations companies.  None commented on the testing by late Tuesday.

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.


soundoff (250 Responses)
  1. Mom tired of bs

    But lets be honest, the kid would have to like, ingest the seat pads before this would even cause any harm... The amounts are so small and at such trace levels it shouldnt be a concern.
    So parents you have a choice, allow your child to burn to death in a wreck because the fire protection isnt good enough or dont let your kid eat the seat pad. Hard choice isnt it!

    August 3, 2011 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sean

      Or..

      We could continue to raise the safety standard for all products. But hey.. if you want to live in the 1800s you go right ahead.

      August 3, 2011 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
    • David

      why be contrained to these 2 choices?
      about making products with materials that are safe for children?

      August 3, 2011 at 15:37 | Report abuse |
    • CDMH

      You're probably right. That's my first inclination too–I am also a mom tired of the bs. I don't think we need to get hysterical about car seat contaminants. That said, I think Sean and David have good points and I would also like to see safer products on the market in general. Just a funny 'tired of the bs' story for you: my husband (a scientist) need to order some sand from a laboratory supply company. It came with a "This product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer" warning. It was just plain sand...like what you'd find on the beach...puh-leese.

      August 3, 2011 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
    • princemwh

      Sure Sean, we could push for safer products, and get stuck with the bill. I think as long as the seats do what their supposed to do (protect a child in a crash) then we have gone far enough in the safety area. This is getting insane, makes me wonder how in the world I lived to be an adult. We are talking trace amounts of chemicals, they didn't even test if there was actual exposure. This is trash science geared toward helping some companies and hurting others.

      August 3, 2011 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
    • Leigh Ann

      CDMH, we were just in California and those signs were on the beach and practically everywhere else we went, too. Makes you wonder if it's safe to live in California!

      August 3, 2011 at 17:30 | Report abuse |
    • frontgate

      impossible to set perfect standards, this report is complete bs.

      August 3, 2011 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Maybe some of you would like to make sure your kids' car seats are made with asbestos... I hear its fire retardant properties are great! Oh wait, somebody found out it was terribly toxic and it gave tens of thousands of people cancer decades later. Hey, but at least they didn't catch on fire!

      August 3, 2011 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I forgot to mention.... it's really cheap... and maybe you also want to save a few bucks...

      August 3, 2011 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
    • DrPete

      It's a good point. Injuries in car accidents are FAR more common than anything related to these chemicals. So if you're playing the odds, stick with the seat that will hold up in an accident.

      August 3, 2011 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
    • Hello?

      Sean and Joe, have you noticed the regular news of the last 2 or 3 years how nearly everything, most foods included, is deadly? This article will be moot next week when they announce cars, like everything else, cause cancer.

      August 3, 2011 at 18:30 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      I heard that Casey Anthony is considering stock purchases in some some of the companies building these.

      August 3, 2011 at 18:44 | Report abuse |
    • John

      to the mom who thought the sand was the same as beach sand – sorry it's not – it looks the same, but is made differently (not by millions of years of erosion, but by a quicker method that does pose a hazard to the lungs)

      August 3, 2011 at 19:03 | Report abuse |
    • RachelM

      @ Sean– 1800's? We've come a long way from a bag with a drawstring. Try not to be so obtuse.

      August 3, 2011 at 19:28 | Report abuse |
    • 4wonderland

      Or... we can depend on the free market to produce safe products for ourselves and our children, like CHINA and the Republicans!

      August 3, 2011 at 19:31 | Report abuse |
    • justfedupwiththiskindofreport

      There are toxic materials on this planet! There are toxic materials on this planet! We have to tell the President!

      So lets get rid of the bad seats just in case our kids get hungry and scarf down a large chunk of their seat. Oh, and while we're at it, ask them to hold their breath while in the car in case they inhale all those toxic fumes the engine is creating and all the toxins being released from their seat and the similar plastics and materials the interior is made of. Then, once you reach your destination – that is assuming you get there and did not crash because you were constantly being distracted from looking out the front windshield so that you could reach back to stop your kid from scarfing down more of that yummy seat or help them hold their hand over their mouth to keep from inhaling (and assuming your kid has the ability to hold their breath that long!), in which case you better hope the seat is made of a 100 % non-toxic fire-retardant material – step out of the car and take a deep intake of that totally pure, 100% toxin free air we live in and congratulate yourself on what a wonderful person you are to have removed another miniscule amount of toxin from your life.

      Then hope your kid makes it to adulthood without encountering a single molecule that could be even potentially harmful to them.

      August 3, 2011 at 19:37 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Flame Retardants are damaging because they are essentially are evaporating from the chair. In other words the FRs are getting into kids blood streams at rates that are greater than workers at FR foam plants.

      Please go to Pubmed.com, and read what Toxicologists are saying. Its in Americans blood at very high levels.

      August 3, 2011 at 19:56 | Report abuse |
    • RonnieReagan

      Mike – you're the voice of reason and probably the smartest in the room. Let's get real here – "Mom tired of bs" is likely a shill spreading FUD for the car seat and chemical manufacturers. These things off-gas into your system. Now picture a baby 1/5th – 1/10th the size of an adult absorbing these toxins for numerous hours per week. Do the math, foolish people.

      August 3, 2011 at 20:24 | Report abuse |
    • Stone

      I think the point is that it seems the issue is not with the seat is self but with the cover material of the seat. At least for the Britax it looks only the models which are silver looking are affected. That is the problem with this article. It doesn't really describe which part contains these toxins. At least as workaround seems to me you don't have to panic. You could just put a slip cover over the seat and you don't have to through it out. Agreed, seems only if a child chews the cover this maybe a real issue. I think this is a classical case of ...hmmm, good to know but whatever. Or is there actually a case known where a child go harmed or got liver cancer or had brain damage from sitting in any of those chairs mentioned?

      August 3, 2011 at 20:26 | Report abuse |
    • Kit

      Just because we should continue to improve safety standards does not mean we let common sense fly out the window. Why is everything completely the manufacturers problem? Are we not at all responsible for the choices we make? First we cannot tell our kids that no you cannot have McDonalds today again and say its their responsibility to remove the fries and stop child oriented advertising. Now the manufacturers must completely redo their product composition but as adults we still cannot be counted on to tell our children dont gnaw on the car seat strap dear. And then we wonder why no one has any sense of moral responsibility or deductive reasoning skills.

      August 3, 2011 at 20:47 | Report abuse |
    • Nikki

      HHHmmmmmm I wander if this is the link to the raise in autism cases ??????????????/

      August 3, 2011 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
    • Stone

      oh by the way, I think everyone would agree that continue to improve any product for usability and safety should always be a manufactures responsibility and duty. And naturally the market will control this...at least for the educated and informed shopper who will research. That is true for any product. Crap will just not make it in the long run. But in this case I would say there is no reason to panic or go ahead and throw out your car seat....

      August 3, 2011 at 21:00 | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I agree with Mom tired of BS. I'm already so weary from all these alerts, it makes me sick. glad you're speaking out for the rest of us!

      August 3, 2011 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
    • a3inkc

      This is a serious problem. My child is recovering from chemical burns on his elbows and legs. Doctors at the Children's Hospital were diagnosing him with severe eczema. After 7 long weeks of my child being in pain....we finally figured out it was his car seat. 10 days later he is healthy. FYI...he did not chew his car seat nor was it left in the heat.

      August 3, 2011 at 23:29 | Report abuse |
  2. Autumn

    Is it made from china? don't know why, US still OK for China ship their product to US and big companies please take over sea jobs back to US to help our economic. Republican wake up, stop ship our jobs to china, india while your country get the debt to ceiling.

    August 3, 2011 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Trevor

      What in the hell?

      August 3, 2011 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
    • frontgate

      Autumn ,
      wanna try that again, in english this time.

      August 3, 2011 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
    • jim

      Translation::
      Are they made in China? I dont know why the US is still ok for China to ship their product to the US. Large Corporations need to please bring jobs back to the US and stop out sourcing to India and China, in order to stimulate the economy. Politicians, please wake up and stop letting jobs get sent to China and India. Also, will someone in your country please make a deposit on my ceiling?

      I think that is pretty close to what was intended....

      August 3, 2011 at 19:54 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Want to Point out that NAFTA was signed by a Democrat. Want to point out that in my Engineering career, many Scientists, Engineers, and manufacturers are conservative. Want to point out that liberals get many Arts/Humanity Degrees. Want to point out that the larger number of Scientists in India and Asia are why we dont make things here now. Want to also point out that California kids have mandatory Flame Retardants in Clothes, Couches, Cribs, and Chairs. Would you consiider California a Republican state at the moment?

      August 3, 2011 at 20:00 | Report abuse |
    • RonnieReagan

      Thank you autumn – yes this is YET ANOTHER example of Chinese contaminants poisoning our next generation. Quit buying chinese garbage, lobby your congressmen to level the playing field in international trade.

      August 3, 2011 at 20:26 | Report abuse |
    • Stone

      Hahaha that is funny. 1st, Britax is made in the US. ...hmmm. Then I totally agree if you are willing to pay $100 more for US made products. Problem is that most people want the best product, on top it should be made in the US but they are not willing to pay for such product and fall back to the most inexpensive product available – usually made in China. It’s not up to the politicians…it’s up to you. The market controls demand and supply…you just have to be willing to pay for it 😉

      August 3, 2011 at 20:49 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      The manufacturing is in China because you and the rest of the country wanted cheap products. You were unwilling to spend $50 for a product that China could produce for $10.
      Not the Republicans. You. Your neighbors. Your parents. Your brothers and sisters.
      So, you put your fellow American out of work to save those bucks. NOW, you have the nerve to complain in an incoherent rant?!
      Ohhhh! How EVIL! I shot myself in the foot! Pity me!
      Enjoy the limp.

      August 3, 2011 at 22:32 | Report abuse |
  3. anon

    The chemicals in flame retardants are absorbed through the skin as well as ingested–its horrifying that they are still so pervasive more because of lobbying of the flame retardant industry than because they actually prevent harm (reduce the risk of serious burns, but releasing toxic fumes that do nasty lung damage.)

    August 3, 2011 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • princemwh

      Yeah because I know so many people affected by poisoned car seats lol. This is a non issue!

      August 3, 2011 at 17:27 | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      princemwh ... how do you know? I rather not have toxic substance around ... but hey, do you like asbestos? Breath in... deep .. feel good, good, now die. That's how it was with asbestos , die until someone figures something smarter ... of course the children of the CE of the company that made asbestos did not live in a house made of asbestos ... how surprising

      August 3, 2011 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
    • princemwh

      lol wow thats not overreacting or anything. If you don't want toxic substances around, well best of luck to you. I guess you could go live somewhere in Africa with nothing around. Have you actually educated yourself about asbestos? It sounds like you know facts, but not the science behind it. Asbestos itself is not bad, when it is released into the environment via dust, that is when we get cancer issues. So if my car seat was made of it, it wouldn't do anything until it got damaged in a car accident. Nice try though. I am glad our seats are safer than ever now days.

      August 3, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse |
    • 4wonderland

      Autism has increased by 1000% in the past 10 years and that has nothing to do with the chemicals in our food, our air and every product we buy. Get real do some research it is an issue. You think it's not because you can't see how it affects you. Let me guess you are a male in your twenties living off your parents or to old to care.

      August 3, 2011 at 19:39 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Skin absorption is one thing, such chemicals should NEVER been in a child product at all.
      As for toxic fumes from burning flame retardant material, erm, you DO realize that for baby to inhale burning fumes from the flame retardant material, the car seat is in a FIRE?
      So, the baby doesn't inhale the fumes, the baby is STILL incinerated. Baby does inhale the fumes, baby is STILL incinerated.
      Reminds me of Star Trek, when the Irish guys built a fire on the Enterprise and the ship put a force field around the fire to smother it. The man asked, what would happen if it surrounded me?
      The answer, "You would be standing in the fire."

      August 3, 2011 at 22:35 | Report abuse |
  4. bronxgal

    I think all these plastic-type products are causing autism disorders in our children...that said, we do need safter products for our children....in the meantime, how about putting a nice cotton towel over the car seat before you put your baby in it.

    August 3, 2011 at 16:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • princemwh

      lol what?! If plastic actually led to autism disorders then waaayyyyyy more people would have autism. Everything is plastic now days, even cars. With that kind of logic you might as well blame plastic for AIDS, Cancer, and heart disease lol

      August 3, 2011 at 17:31 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Actually, SOME plasticizers ARE known to mimic estrogen or testosterone, but were proved to be 10000 times more potent and binding.
      That is WHY we have PET water bottles and those new fangled plastics in baby bottles.
      As for autism, sorry, don't even rent it, let alone buy it. The autism rate would be 100000 times higher.
      To be honest, I'm really thinking either a chemical exposure during pregnancy or a virus and I'm dubious about the chemical exposure bit, the epidemiology doesn't match up.

      August 3, 2011 at 22:38 | Report abuse |
  5. GT66

    More "made in China" please.

    August 3, 2011 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mjg

      britax is made in the usa

      August 3, 2011 at 22:27 | Report abuse |
  6. Sally Gauthier

    I, for one, am sick to death(no pun intended), of reading about things that are going to make us(and our loved ones) sick. Maybe they should do all of this testing before we spend our money on things our kids HAVE to use.

    August 3, 2011 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Sometimes, research comes out 20-50 years after the product was tested and found safe and that new research shows a new risk and danger that went unnoticed initially.
      Think of Vioxx, it was out for quite a while, but was pulled after many unexplained heart attacks killed people. And IT wasn't the ONLY one, there were a dozen other NSAIDs that caused the same problem and were all pulled from the market, after previous research showed no such problem.

      August 3, 2011 at 22:40 | Report abuse |
  7. princemwh

    This is just bad science. They test for chemicals but not for actual exposure? Heck I could tell you there are bad chemicals in plastic, it doesn't take a genius. The real issue is whether kids have the chance for exposure. I'm so tired of being told all this stuff is bad when our generation grew up to be just fine as adults. We overreact to everything!

    August 3, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RonnieReagan

      Prince – with your multiple posts here I'm starting to wonder if you have a vested interest in the car seat or chemical industry.....

      August 3, 2011 at 20:28 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      When my brother was born, they used to x-ray childrens feet to fit shoes. They didn't check for exposure.
      The machines were banned when the leukemia rate shot through the roof for those who used those machines the most.
      I guess the government should not have banned the machines until the entire populace was tested for radiation damage, huh?
      Gee, the government said that fallout from thermonuclear warheads was safe. Tell the dead in the towns in Nevada about it, the dead from radiation induced cancer.
      Guess they should've kept blowing those above ground nukes until everyone was tested for exposure, right? Radiation is GOOD for you!

      August 3, 2011 at 22:43 | Report abuse |
  8. grofys

    the original headline: toxics found in kids' car seats. the word is "toxins".

    August 3, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lisa

      Did you expect a CNN article to have standards?

      August 3, 2011 at 18:34 | Report abuse |
    • veero

      actually, no "toxin" is a toxic substance produced by a living organism (botulin for example).

      August 3, 2011 at 21:02 | Report abuse |
  9. foreman

    Make the company recall all contaminated products and prove that the new products are safe before they can be sold. If they are caught selling products that do not meet us standards a second time ban them from all sales in the US for 1 year. Third time they are baned for life. This should apply to US companies also. Safety regulations must be met....

    August 3, 2011 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • princemwh

      I hope you won't be in the market for a car seat anytime soon then, because with your law, they won't be affordable. The story didn't even say kids are being exposed, just that the car seats had chemicals in them. Car seats are safer than ever now days.

      August 3, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse |
  10. cpc65

    China is just trying to slowly poison the west to death.

    August 3, 2011 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Yeah, it's all a grand plot to kill off their best customers, so that they no longer have to work.

      August 3, 2011 at 22:51 | Report abuse |
  11. gabor47

    To "Mom tired of bs"

    So right you are !!!

    August 3, 2011 at 17:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RonnieReagan

      gabor, it's unlikely she is a "mom" or "tired of bs"....my bet says "she/he" is a shill for the car seat or chemical industry. Remember they banned these types of chemicals in kids pajamas many years ago for the same reasons they need to ban them from car seats. This is common sense you clowns.

      August 3, 2011 at 20:29 | Report abuse |
  12. andy

    I'll focus on the main function of the child seat first: protect the children, especially in an accident. How is the comparison in that?

    August 3, 2011 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • princemwh

      thank goodness I'm not the only sane person here. Amen!

      August 3, 2011 at 17:45 | Report abuse |
    • RonnieReagan

      Exactly – which is why we need to have the chemicals REMOVED. Your kid is FAR more likely to be killed due to impacts than by BURNING in a car accident. If we used your logic, kids would still be sleeping in pajamas infested with many of these same chemicals. However, common sense prevailed and flame retardant chemicals were banned from PJ in the 70s and 80s.

      Car seats are about 30 years behind the pajama industry apparently.

      August 3, 2011 at 20:31 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      So, we protect the children from the car accident, only to have them get cancer or have hormonal dysfunction later in life.
      Brilliant solution!
      The operation was a success, however the patient died.

      August 3, 2011 at 22:53 | Report abuse |
  13. MarsAttax

    seriously though – how much would have to be ingested to have an impact and what is the likelihood of that happening? I'm not saying that it is OK to have toxic chemicals in these products but what about the contact time and resulting degree of toxicity. If this is a concern then maybe we should also ask what the environmental impact is when these are discarded in the land fills.

    August 3, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • princemwh

      totally agree. I would think if the tests actually came back so bad, they would have tested exposure, which they say they didn't. It obviously isn't a big deal.

      August 3, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      So, because it wasn't tested for exposure, the exposure didn't happen, huh?
      With YOUR standard, Nevada would be a wasteland from atmospheric nuclear testing. Ignoring the cancer rate, which it WAS ignored.
      Fortunately, sane minds prevailed and exposure was tested AFTER the testing was stopped and moved underground.
      By YOUR standard, we'd still be x-raying feet to fit shoes, as exposure wasn't tested.
      Fortunately, competent minds prevailed and the machines were banned, exposure testing conducted later with a few of the confiscated machines.
      We'll let you determine when to flip that burger. For public health risks, we'll let experts who know what they're talking about and doing determine the risk.

      August 3, 2011 at 22:56 | Report abuse |
  14. Paul

    princemwh: waaaaaymore children have autism ... what about ~1000% (yes one thousand percent) increase between 1993 and 2003 in the USA only. Worst state Wisconsin, where a lot of chemicals are used in farming the increase in the same period was 14,170%, yes fourteen thousand percent. I wish my bank account has such a return.
    And, in more recent years data shows worsening of the situation ... yeah, keep toxic substances at home ... breath in, eat, very smart ... a new study has confirmed that environmental factors are to be blamed in 58% of the cases, genetics in 38% of the cases ... do you have a brain?

    August 3, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • princemwh

      do I have a brain? hahaha indeed my friend. my brain tells me you overreact. So you can live your life however you want throwing out silly statistics. People like that irritate me to death because they lack street smarts. I could tear your stats to absolute pieces, and I know you know that, but I won't because it's pointless.

      August 3, 2011 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
    • JSug

      In all seriousness, there is a clear inverse relationship with the rise in autism with the decline in VHS players and Michael Jackson's skin pigment since the 1980's. I am currently uncertain how his death will affect things going forward.

      August 3, 2011 at 18:11 | Report abuse |
    • princemwh

      lol that is hilarious!

      August 3, 2011 at 18:15 | Report abuse |
  15. DrPete

    All that's missing is some shred of discussion about the actual significance of having these compounds in a car seat. Unless your child is eating the car seat or the chemicals are leeching out of the seat and into the skin, it's hard to imagine how it's a problem.

    August 3, 2011 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • princemwh

      Oh no this is a HUGE issue. Don't you know they tested car seats and found out there was so many chemicals in them that they immediately tested for actual exposure? oh wait, that didn't happen lol. Amen DrPete

      August 3, 2011 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
  16. florante

    Autumn,
    Nice English. Where did you learn that?

    August 3, 2011 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Turtle

    This makes me wonder about all the car seats we used before they started checking them for chemicals or regulating them as much. I also wonder about what is the likelihood of these chemicals being absorbed by the skin? I don't see kids chomping on their seats much- kinda hard if strapped in properly.

    August 3, 2011 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. broken_quanta

    Can someone please find the author of this article and make him write "The Dose Determines the Poison" on the chalkboard 50,000 times?

    August 3, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. William

    This is what happens when organizations take up a single "call to arms" and ignore the big picture. "The website did not test to see whether any of the chemicals were coming off the product and potentially exposing children." So how do these ratings have any relevance. They rate the Britax convertible seats as the "worst" because of chemicals that they can't even say are leaching off the seat to harm the child, yet those are widely considered among the safest seats for children. Healthystuff.org has no credibility in my book.

    August 3, 2011 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • princemwh

      yeah I agree, this is totally garbage science fair material. I think that these tests were done for inappropriate reasons, give one company a bad name kinda deal.

      August 3, 2011 at 18:17 | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      William-

      Here is copied directly from their website:

      IMPORTANT NOTE: 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.

      and also this

      IMPORTANT NOTE
      The information on HealthyStuff.org is meant to provide general information to the public on whether or not certain chemicals were detected in tested consumer products. HealthyStuff.org did NOT conduct studies to determine if the chemicals of concern will migrate or come out of the product, causing a direct exposure. Therefore, HealthyStuff.org can not determine whether the presence of these chemicals in a product results in human exposure, nor can HealthyStuff.org estimate the health risk posed by any product. Studies intended to examine whether or not chemicals of concern do come out of products under various conditions can be done. Some manufacturers report having done studies of this kind. Please contact manufacturers directly if you are interested in that information.
      The test results shown on the site apply only to the specific products tested. Earlier or later versions of the same products may contain different chemical formulations.

      August 3, 2011 at 18:48 | Report abuse |
  20. Teri

    Aren't all plastics and oil-based products toxic? So, why is this a surprise or a worry?

    August 3, 2011 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. LOL

    @Paul Actually you cant prove that thier is a signifigant increase in autism yet because we havent had enough time to collect data. The reason for that is because people havent alway been properly diagnosing it until recently.

    August 3, 2011 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. ConnorEl

    Air "fresheners" are a bigger worry, IMO. The toxic stuff is intentionally sprayed into the air for us and our children to inhale. Blech.

    August 3, 2011 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Larry

    Is sitting on the chemicals better than eating them? Being poisoned is a small price to pay for corporate profits. If you eat processed food you might as well buy things for your children that are laced with chemicals that reduce cost and increase profits. Government agencies that are supposed to protect us get financed by the vary manufacturers they are supposed to regulate. Do you think anything can go wrong here? A good government worker in one of these agencies is one so motivated that he showed up for work. Beyond that you're on your own.

    August 3, 2011 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Oh No

    Tainted car seats are the least of our worries for us and our children!

    Look at http://www.dhmo.org and write your congress person about banning this way too common chemical!

    August 3, 2011 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Oh Noes is right!

      OMG My pediatrician said that my child should be ingesting at least 8-10 oz of this a day!!! (You do realize that your humor will go over the heads of many right?)

      August 3, 2011 at 18:57 | Report abuse |
  25. ieat

    this is kind of the pointless article since healthystuff's study doesn't really say much about how the toxic can leak, does the child eat it? suck on it? breathe it? It tells me really absolutely nothing other than the toxins could harm my child, but that's EVERYTHING in this world.

    August 3, 2011 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. D1234

    It is made in China, did anyone think otherwise? China is famous for exporting toxic products, wall board, toys painted with toxic paint, paint products, etc. That is their way of getting rid of toxic materials. When are Americans going to wake up and when product safety start checking this stuff and stop imports. Walmart would go broke, they are the dumping grounds of Amarica.

    August 3, 2011 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. IQ

    Don't buy ANYTHING from China for you children. Out government is NOT protecting us. China is dumping toxins in just about everything. You would think they are trying to kill us, but it's just greed (they kill their own). I SOOOO want a trade war. BRING IT ON!!!!!!

    August 3, 2011 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • IQ

      IQ can't spell correctly. IQ is on the low side i'm afraid LOL

      August 3, 2011 at 19:34 | Report abuse |
  28. Tim

    even if this is a teeny tiny amount of chemical exposure.... since we're getting exposed to nasty stuff virtually everywhere and all the time, doesn't that add up? Or, put another way: tiny chemical exposure x lots of incidents of exposure = BAD.

    August 3, 2011 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. NB

    They're all made in China. Of course the contain toxins. What did you expect? Chinese manufacturers are infamous for cutting corners every way they can to make an extra buck. The companies that sell these products should be held liable for not assuring the safety of their products before selling them to consumers.

    August 3, 2011 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • emma

      You are wrong. Most of these car seats are manufactured in the USA. Britax seats are made in North Carolina, Evenflo in Ohio, Graco in Pennsylvania, and Dorel (Safety First, Maxi Cosi, and Edie Bauer) seats are made in Massachusetts.

      CNN – Please correct the article. The Graco Nautilus is NOT a convertible car seat. It can only be used forward facing.

      August 4, 2011 at 00:08 | Report abuse |
  30. ADiff

    So an advocacy group found toxic chemicals..... Fact is these exist virtually everywhere. The question is, at what levels? Considering the source I would be VERY skeptical the levels represent even the most remote threat of any kind at all..... Probably just another 'enviro' scare story and nothing more.

    August 3, 2011 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DrPete

      Yeah, even their website says nothing about why these chemicals are bad, how they're absorbed, and in what doses...

      August 3, 2011 at 19:41 | Report abuse |
  31. gyntanfitman

    Are they sure the chemicals are not coming from the bottom side of babies? My little ones seat smells strong like chemicals when he defecates during long car rides. They may need to make sure they are testing brand new seats.

    August 3, 2011 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. BPG

    Folks, before you get all excited about this please read the actual study results. On a good number of these seats only have the "bad" chemicals in the clip. The solution here is to not let your kid eat the clip...or set it on fire. Problem solved, continue to keep your little one well protected in the event of a crash.

    August 3, 2011 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Jim

    I love this. Listen, most of this stuff they feed you people is just marketing bs. They use pretend science and scare tactics to get you guys to buy things that cost twice as much for no reason. How do you not get that? Doctors arent any better. Lets see, what happens if we start diagnosing 4 out of 5 people with something? Holy crap! We get h ella rich! Whats that? The companies that make the stuff we prescribe are gonna pay us to sell this stuff too? H ella richer! People, theres a huge rise in cases of things because, wait for it, it makes money. Theres not a huge rise in things, theres a huge rise in being diagnosed with things. Do you really think that things could change that drastically? When I was in school in the 80s and 90s there was one kid, just one, in the whole school that was so nuts he had to take hyperactivity drugs. Now everybodies kids are adhd or has an autism spectrum disorder. Really? No. It just makes tons of money and is easy to sell to people. Its all just business, folks. Use your brains.

    August 3, 2011 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. muchadoaboutnothing

    Quit having this stuff made in China.

    August 3, 2011 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Tom

    Can't win–car seats have chemicals...

    August 3, 2011 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Chris

    A seat made of nearly 100% synthetic materials may contain harmful chemicals??? You don't say!!! You think plastics are made with flour and water?

    August 3, 2011 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Jim

    Funny that parents can take a kid to four different doctors that say the kids fine, yet the fifth will say- yep, hes got autism, heres a bunch of prescriptions.- because the parents just knew something had to be wrong with the kid and those first four doctors were quacks. Nope, one doctor just liked money more. Oh, and thats actually a real conversation I heard.

    August 3, 2011 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Jim

    But then again, Im sure Im probably just a shill and not the parent of two healthy, normal, intelligent kids that dont get sick, that also doesnt buy into all of the horse sh it spread all over the internet.

    August 3, 2011 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Mike

    Made in China ?

    August 3, 2011 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. jessicaber

    I have a Graco so I am in the best and worst catagory, but my son is 6 ad 45 lbs, so when he grows tall enough he will not need even his booster seat any more.

    August 3, 2011 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. BP

    I love how the media ignores proper english usage. The front page header says "TOXICS" found in kids' car seats. It's TOXINS.

    August 3, 2011 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. soingene

    Toxins, not toxics.

    August 3, 2011 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. JKY

    Toxins need not be ingested to cause harm. (For example, the flame retardants sprayed on carpet are highly toxic. That new carpet smell is the smell of chemicals off-gassing into the air you breathe.) BPA, now known to be a dangerous endocrine disrupter, was only recently banned in baby bottles– but it was used, unregulated for years. The practically unregulated use of thousands of chemicals has a LOT to do with the rise in many kinds of illnesses and developmental disabilities in children. You may not have "proof" of that (now), but that's because the very companies that fund big studies are financially linked to the big businesses that would like to quietly continue sidestepping regulation.

    August 3, 2011 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. jessicaber

    Yeah, I was wondering when it said "Toxics" I was thinking what does my son have to just smell this to get sick? Thanks guys.

    August 3, 2011 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. cm

    Please do NOT mistake this article for safety. Those rated 'the best' above are not rated 'the best' for safety. Using that term can be misleading.

    August 3, 2011 at 22:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. ed

    Why, oh, why is anyone against getting hazardous chemicals out of car seats? People post on CNN articles but one wonders how they do it when their brain is so far up their rear.

    August 3, 2011 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. chgopregnancy

    I wish they tested the Orbit seats – they claim to be toxin free. Also, maybe a safety approved,organic cover will help – bokoocovers.com

    August 3, 2011 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. ngc1300

    Why do you assume baby has to chew up a good chunk of car seat to ingest these substances? Consider: a closed car can reach 140 F in the summer. These chemicals may vaporize at that temp. Getting into a hot car means inhaling these compounds. If the car sits unopened till it cools, they may condense, coating surfaces in the car. Baby gets in the car, grabs his/her binky and sticks it in his mouth. Yum! brominated fire retardants, plasticizers, etc. People, holding manufacturers responsible is not whacko; not holding them responsible is insane.

    August 3, 2011 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. ablaze

    Autism anyone?

    August 3, 2011 at 23:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Rikki

    Coudn't get a comment from Graco? Some journalism there, CNN. Get off your butt and drive 10 minutes up the Georgia 400 and ask Graco's corporate leadership for yourself.

    August 3, 2011 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.