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Car safety goes hand in hand with child safety. But what should parents do when the car safety seats they use to make sure their children are safe could also be putting their children’s lives in danger?

According to consumer watchdog groups looking into making sure that consumer products are not exposing them to any serious risks, the car safety seats used to secure child passengers may be exposing the little ones to toxic chemicals.

The reports show that the products that may be exposing children to safety risks have been tested by the Michigan-based Ecology Center. According to the study’s results, the harmful chemicals used in the production of these seats include halogenated flame retardants. The reports show that the substances used by the manufacturers to meet federally mandated flammability requirements such as bromine and chlorine may be linked to a series of health issues. Due to the fact the substances are also persistent, taking longer to break down to something safer over time of use, experts are concerned that children being exposed to the substances may experience issues due to exposure.

At least 11 out of the 15 seats tested by the organization contained the halogenated flame retardants. In spite of the reports, the foams used in the car safety seats are essential to make sure that the child is protected since the foams absorb energy in the event of an accident.

Researchers also found that another substance present in the flame retardant products used in car safety seats is a carcinogen. Chlorinated tris was found in only two seats. The same substance was used in the production of children’s pajamas many years ago, but regulators made sure the product was removed from the products to ensure children were not being exposed to the items. As the flame retardants are released from the fabrics and foams used in the car safety seats through normal use, children could be exposed. These substances settle in the air and dust in the vehicle. If they are built up, children will end up having a longer exposure to the items.

According to experts however, the presence of flame retardants is not the only issue associated with these seats: metals like chromium and lead have also been found on most of the seats.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has limited the use of these metals in child products, yet many car safety seat developers still make use of the items in their products. Other items that make use of the same chemicals and even some metals include furniture items, carpets, and other products designed for child use.

But as troubling as the results may be, many child and car safety experts are urging parents to avoid reading this report as a recommendation to stop making use of car safety seats. The tests show that while the flame retardant substances are still part of the seats, companies are not using as much as they have in the past.

Stay safe and keep your child safe by continuing to make use of the car seats, but also, stay on top of news concerning child and car safety.For more details on the study, follow this link.

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