May 30, 2007

RUN! HIDE! JPMA Says Toxic Car Seats Are No Problem!

atari gracinha and marco on flickrWhen I first saw the reports a couple of weeks ago of some hippie treehugger study that found significant levels of toxic, even carcinogenic, chemicals like lead, chlorine, and bromine in a whole range of car seats, I was like, eh, chlorine? My kid snorts that stuff for breakfast. And if I don't care about all the lead in her gumball machine jewelry, why get worked up about lead in her car seat? And besides, what am I gonna make my car seat out of, you hemp-lovers, HEMP? Get Woody Harrelson on the horn, stat! hahaha.

Then I saw this, "JPMA Responds [sic] To HealthyCar.org," that reads in part,

...The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has written comprehensive regulations governing child restraint systems and car seat manufacturers work diligently to produce compliant product...

&c. &c. &c.

...Previous extensive testing performed on a range of plastic children’s products by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has determined that children are not at risk from vinyl plastics as used in children’s products.

&c. &c. &c.

The agency has a longstanding commitment to protecting children from the dangers of lead and other toxic chemicals.

JPMA believes that instead of alarming parents, we should work together to educate them about the importance of the proper use and installation of car seats. In the real world...

&c. &c. &c.

JPMA is alarmed at potentially false and misleading statements such as those found at www.healthycar.org that might cause parents to discontinue car seat use. Car seats save more children’s lives than any other children’s product.

And I'm like, "potentially false"?? such as those found at www.healthycar.org"??? That's all they got??

Oh my hell, it's all true! The hippies are right, we're poisoning our children! We're doomed! Wait, what's that? Only if you have a Toffee-colored Peg Perego Primo Viaggio or a Combi Centre EX Mango, and only if you let your kid gnaw on them? Why not just not name them after food? Problem solved. As you were.

HealthyCar.org Car Seat Guide 2007 [healthycar.org via jpma]
JPMA Responds To HealthyCar.org [jpma.org]
image via atari, gracinha & marco's flickr set [double points for naming the kid atari, btw]

7 Comments

Wow... I wish they'd tested more than one Peg Perego... ours had kind of a toffee colour on part of it but that wasn't the name of the colour scheme. Luckily we didn't use it in an enclosed space (ie. car) much; we got more use out of it in the stroller walking around.

Thanks for the heads-up on this. I own the offending Combi car seat and my son has been happily gnawing on the shoulder straps for months now. Needless to say, I am freaking just a bit. I called Combi and they are aware of the Ecology Center report and at this point they were not going to issue a recall, were looking into the problem, their car seats pass all government tests, etc. etc. and that it was up to my discretion whether or not to continue to use the car seat. Wonderful. I think I will be buying a new car seat tonight.

I will have to say this for Combi; they do seem to have good customer service, because they just called me back about my concerns with the toxic chemicals in their car seats. Apparently, the chemicals are used to make the fabric flame retardant. The shoulder straps have removable pads made out of this fabric (which is what my son has been sucking on) and taking them off does not interfere with the safety of the car seat. Good to know in any case.

Our kid did have a reaction to the carseat-- a horrible burning rash that no could figure out until we connected that the rash was only where he touched the carseat. It's horrible to think we did that to him by trying to make him safe. Uhg.

Yeah, our kid broke out in the same horrible, raw, oozing open sores wherever he touched the car seat. We kept on putting him in that thing for two months before we realized he was allergic to the car seat. It cleared up as soon as we put in a liner. Amusing blog post and all, but watching your newborn frantically paw at the huge raw scab on the back of his head makes you look a little more seriously at that hippie treehugger study about the chemical crap they put in car seats. Y'know?

My son has the same thing and I am determined to buy a new carseat today... do you currently have a different one that doesn't cause the rash and if so, what is the brand and model?

wow this is crazy, i hope they do a better job filtering though these kind of issues. not cool

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