Historical Test Results

2011 Children's Car Seat Findings

Overall Findings

  • Consumer products throughout our economy, including children's car seats, contain potentially harmful chemicals that are linked to reproductive problems, developmental and learning disabilities, hormone disruptions, and cancer.
  • Over 150 2011-model car seats were sampled from retail locations in Michigan using X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF). 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.
  • Based on detection of bromine, we concluded that brominated flame retardant (BFR) 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, brominated chemicals, and heavy metals).
  • Overall, car seats appeared to be 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 2011)
  • However, as of 2011, 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%).