Healthy Stuff

Healthy Stuff's mission is to research toxic chemicals found in everyday products. 



It is high time that manufacturers remove toxic flame retardant additives from their product lines. It is simply unacceptable to continue using toxic chemicals to make products meant to provide safety to our most vulnerable population, our children. It's true; car seats save lives.  But, safety shouldn't come with a hidden chemical cost. That is why we are challenging car seat manufacturers to produce a car seat without adding flame retardants. UPPAbaby recently proved this can be done through their Mesa Henry infant seat, the first ever car seat manufactured without added flame retardants that still meets fire safety standards. We need both consumers and advocates to put the pressure on other manufacturers to follow UPPAbaby’s lead. We want toxic-free car seats! Sign the petition. 


In this study, we analyzed flame retardants and other chemicals in fifteen infant and toddler car seats purchased in 2016, including two from the United Kingdom. The brands are BabyTrend, Britax, Chicco, Clek, Cosco, Diono, Evenflo, Graco (two models), Joie, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Orbit, Recaro, and Safety 1st. The seats represent a broad price range and about half were brands also tested by our team in 2014.

One company has answered our longtime call.  Uppababy unveiled a new car seat for 2017 specially designed to contain no added FRs. To our knowledge, the MESA Henry will be the first flame retardant-free car seat on the market, and its story and test results are included as a sidebar in this report.


Selected earlier reports


Healthy Stuff Reports

The Ecology Center has tested child car seats periodically for ten years, tracking changes in chemical addtives. Car seats are a required product in which babies and children typically spend hours per day. The flame retardant (FR) chemicals historically used in car seats are known to include carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and developmental toxicants. Exposure occurs through contamination of air and dust.
In 2016, we tested 32 hoses from Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Meijer, Target, and Walmart.  Individual product results are below. Click on a product for details from XRF and FTIR analyses. Download the complete report here.
For the first time, because they were required by the State of Maine to report the information, manufacturers of paints and cleaning products available across the country have disclosed their uses of hormone‐disrupting phthalates (THAL‐eights), revealing the use of these chemicals as a fragrance ingredient in these products.
IMPORTANT NOTE: ratings do not provide a measure of health risk or chemical exposure associated with any individual product, or any individual element or related chemical.

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