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Toxic Chemicals Found in Child Car Seats

More than half of the 2011 models of popular car seats contain toxic flame retardants and chemical additives, a study conducted by the non-profit Ecology Center and released on has found.  The study examined more than 150 examples of car seats purchased at a retail store in Michigan.  Around 60 percent of the seats tested positive for brominated flame retardant chemicals, PVC, arsenic, mercury, and other heavy metals. says those chemicals have either not been sufficiently tested, or are associated with health issues including reproductive problems, developmental and learning disabilities, hormone imbalances, and cancer.

Similar studies had been performed in 2008 and 2009, and though the new findings sound alarming, they are actually improvements--an average of 64 percent less chemical toxicity--over the past 3 years.

"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," Jeff Gearheart, research director for, told

For a list of the models that were labeled "best" and "worst" by the study, click here.

(image via:

*UPDATED:  The image that was originally published in this post has been replaced after several PNN readers correctly pointed out that it depicted a young baby riding in a forward-facing car seat, which is not recommended.