Best Infant Car Seat: Consider Toxic Chemicals and Check for Toxicity

Best Infant Car SeatOne important baby item you cannot live without is a car seat. You want to find the best infant car seat available since they do save lives. That’s why parents who are concerned about toxicity and want to reduce toxic chemical exposures are alarmed to find out that even those rated as the best infant car seat can be very toxic to babies.

A disturbing report released today by the non-profit Ecology Center at reveals that toxic fire retardant chemicals were detected in 44% percent of the 2011 car seats tested. And more than half (60%) of the infant car seats tested contained at least one highly toxic chemical.

They tested over 150 infant car seats for chlorine, bromine, lead, antimony, arsenic, chromium, cobalt, copper, mercury, nickel and tin. These substances can be linked to many health issues, including cancer, SIDS, brain damage, liver toxicity, and learning disabilities. Infants and small children are particularly sensitive to toxic exposures since their brains and bodies are in the process of developing, and many will spend a lot of time in a car seat. Sun exposure and heat in cars can cause a faster breakdown of these chemicals, increasing the toxicity of the car seat.

Best Infant Car Seat

Fortunately you can find healthier infant car seats. You can go to Best and Least Toxic Car Seat Ratings at and search for the least toxic car seats.

Here is a summary:

Most Toxic 2011 Car Seats:

• Infant Seat: Graco Snugride 35 in Edgemont Red/Black & Graco SnugRide 30 in Asprey
• Convertible Seat: Britax Marathon 70 in Jet Set & Britax Marathon in Platinum
• Booster Seat: Recaro Pro Booster in Blue Opal & Recaro ProSPORT Toddler in Mist

Least Toxic 2011 Car Seats:

• Infant Seat: Chicco KeyFit 30 in Limonata, Graco Snugride 35 in Laguna Bay & Combi Shuttle 33 in Cranberry Noche
• Convertible Carseat: Graco Comfort Sport in Caleo, Graco MyRide 65 in Chandler and Streamer, Safety 1st OnSide Air in Clearwater, and Graco Nautilus Elite 3-in-1 in Gabe
• Booster Seat: Graco Turbo Booster in Anders


At Healthy Child we are always trying to find the safest, most non-toxic products available. Even the least toxic car seats indicated in this report are made with polyurethane foam and must contain fire retardants by law. did not test for all toxic fire retardants, particularly chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs), and car seats may contain other toxic chemicals.

Please post below if you know of any car seats that are truly chemical-free. We would love to know.


  1. I was almost falling in love with Orbit’s non-toxic car seats, but I have safety concerns because “the infant carrier detached from its car seat base in two of six simulated 30-mph frontal crash tests that Consumer Reports commissioned at an outside laboratory.” You can read about the Consumer Reports test here:

    and why intermittent test failures are such a big deal here:

  2. The consumer report article for the Orbit Baby stroller that was posted is for an old model. According to consumer reports the G2 series does not have the same issues as the previous model.

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