Car Seat Troubles

As if parents today just don't have enough to worry about, a recent study by the Michigan-based Ecology Center has added another concern to our list. It seems that those seats we are required by law to have to keep our children safe in the car may be off-gassing toxic chemicals. The Ecology Center tested 62 leading-brand car seats and found that one-third had one or more components containing high levels of toxins linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, and other health problems. Well, that's just great.

Until I heard about this study, I had no idea that car seats could contain lead or arsenic. We have all heard about the dangers of those substances but apparently bromine (neurotoxicity, cancer), chlorine (hormone disruption), and antimony (cancer) were also tested by Ecology Center. Am I the only one who is starting to think she needs a PhD in chemistry to keep her kid safe?

Below I have listed the best and worst car seats. Keep in mind that not all car seats are created equal. For example, a Britax Roundabout Onyx may rate very differently from a Britax Roundabout Camooflauge. If your child's seat is not listed below, you can check the Ecology Center's car seat database at


Infant: Graco Snugride Emerson
Convertible: Cosco Scenera 5-Point or Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 Convertible Montecito
Booster: Evenflo Big Kid No-Back Gold Dust


Infant: Combi Centre EX Mango
Convertible: Britax Marathon Platinum
Booster: Graco Turbobooster Emily and SafeSeat


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