For over 10 years, the Ecology Center's Healthy Stuff program has advocated for manufacturers to build car seats free of chemical flame retardants (FRs). In 2017, UPPAbaby launched the very first FR-free children’s car seat. Now, five manufacturers have introduced 16 FR-free children’s car seats.
Our December 2018 report, Hidden Hazards: Flame Retardants & PFAS in Children's Car Seats, highlighted Clek’s Mammoth wool FR-free fabric available on four seats ranging from infant to booster, Nuna’s FR-free Pipa Lite infant seat available in three colors, and UPPAbaby’s two FR-free fashions of the MESA infant seat.
In early 2019 Britax and Maxi-Cosi also introduced FR-free car seats. In late 2019 Nuna expanded their FR-free offerings five-fold.
Britax launched FR-free SafeWash™ fabric, now available on four seats, covering all stages of growth. We tested the SafeWash™ fabric in Otto. The SafeWash™ fabric is removable and washable, a design feature that allows families to keep seat covers clean without stain-resistant PFAS chemicals.
Maxi-Cosi (whose parent company is Dorel) released two seats, an infant carrier and an all-in-one convertible, both with the PureCosi wool-free fabric without flame retardant chemicals. We tested the PureCosi Magellan® Max All-in-1 convertible, which has an easily removable and washable cover that avoids the need for stain-resistant chemicals.
Nuna has converted almost their entire line of car seats to FR-free. The company's three infant seats and two convertible seats (including an all-in-one) are advertised as FR-free; all their seats except their booster.
We found the FR-free marketing claims for the new Britax SafeWash fabric and the Maxi-Cosi Magellan Max All-in1 with PureCosi fabric held up. We were not able to test Nuna's new seats before the release of this report.
We also tested a third product, a portable car seat, the Pico by WAYB, a newcomer to the children’s car seat market.
WAYB’s Pico portable car seat (available in 4 colors) is designed to fold up to go easily on a plane, a taxi, or modes of mass transit. The WAYB seat was found to have a reactive phosphorus-based FR. Reactive FRs are chemically bound to the yarn before the fabric is woven, rather than coated on the finished fabric. Reactive FRs are designed to stay in the fabric rather than migrate out. Little is known about the impact of reactive FRs on the environment during manufacturing and disposal. Read more about Reactive FRs.
Published on December 12, 2019