Friends of the Earth, an environmental watchdog group, released a report today showing that 44% of all infant car seats, 56% of all infant carriers and 40% of all strollers studied contained high levels of halogenated fire retardants.
Toxicologists from the EPA (See CBS News video below) are concerned about the use of these chemicals as a flame retardant in infant car seats and strollers due to the potentially long-term health effects on infants and children.
These environmental groups are especially concerned about a type of fire retardant known as Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE), as they have been linked to serious health problems like birth defects, hormone deficiencies, learning disabilities and neurological disorders.
PBDEs build up in our systems, potentially causing even greater damage over time. Friends of the Earth reports that babies are now being born with hundreds of these chemicals already stored in their bodies from exposure while still in the womb.
While fire-retardant chemicals are necessary to save lives, PBDE critics maintain that there are several options other than PBDEs, such as using safer materials (as is being done successfully by many bed manufacturers) and alternative chemical and natural fire retardants.
Several states (including Washington, California and Maine) have already issued legislation regulating, and even banning the use of PBDEs in products, but campaigns are underway to call for more states to take action. Learn more at Friends of The Earth. Thanks to Green and Clean Mom for alerting us to this latest report via their blog entry.
CBS News Video on PBDEs: