Ann Arbor, Michigan – According to Ecology Center’s latest report, Hidden Hazards:Flame Retardants and PFAS in Children’s Car Seats, flame retardants are present in most children’s car seats.
A publication in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters also reports the presence of a new flame retardant chemical in child car seats in North America for the first time.
The 2018 report indicates that fewer car seats contain brominated flame retardants than was the case in the previous report in 2016. However, the use of phosphorus-based flame retardants is rising, including that newly reported FR, cyclic phosphonate ester.
‘The switch from brominated to phosphorus-based flame retardants isn’t necessarily a move to safer chemistry,’ said Gillian Miller, Senior Scientist at Ecology Center. ‘Several commonly-used phosphorus-based flame retardants show significant endocrine and developmental toxicity and also are persistent in our environment.’
Three companies – UPPAbaby, Clek Fllo and Nuna Pipa Lite – now sell car seats containing no flame retardant chemicals, the report says.
Ecology Center and public health groups are calling for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to update its flammability standards, which date back to the 1970s. Ecology Center claims, many experts suggest that the standards are not relevant to real-world fire scenarios in cars.
‘Today’s car seats are safe, and play a critical role in protecting children from a leading cause of injury and death,’ said Kelly Mariotti, executive director of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. ‘But to ensure all families continue to have access to these life-saving devices, we need revised federal flammability standards.’