An environmental group has filed legal action against a manufacturer of child car seats that the organization says contain a toxic chemical.
Officials at the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) have asked Orbit Baby Inc. to do a nationwide recall of its toddler car seat and its infant car seat because they contain toxic flame retardant, chlorinated Tris.
CEH officials said Tris is a chemical known to cause cancer under California’s Proposition 65 consumer protection law.
CEH representatives said Orbit Baby has advertised its car seats as being free of toxic flame retardants, but independent tests ordered by the environmental group show “high levels of Tris” in those products.
“In twenty years of exposing companies that mislead consumers, this is one of the most outrageous instances of corporate ‘green washing’ that we have ever seen,” CEH Executive Director Michael Green said in a statement. “Orbit promised parents a safer car seat made without toxic flame retardants, yet sold them products that put children at risk of high exposures to a cancer-causing chemical. Orbit must take responsibility and recall these toxic car seats.”
Healthline has sent a request to Orbit Baby officials for comment, but so far the company has not responded.
Chemicals in Car Seats
Orbit sells higher-end car seats, including seat-stroller combinations, that cost upward of $1,500.
CEH officials said their independent tests on several of the car seats highlighted in the legal action showed high levels of Tris in the seats’ foam filling. The filling is used to help the seat absorb any shock from a collision.
A CBS News report in December stated that one retailer had notified Orbit in 2014 of the toxic chemicals in the car seats.
The news report stated the Ecology Center found 75 percent of all the car seats from a number of companies they tested contained potentially harmful flame retardants.
Federal law mandates that child car seats be made with flame retardant materials, many of which are linked to cancer and neurological disorders.
However, the CBS report stated, Orbit Baby was the only company that advertised that its seats didn’t contain such harmful materials.
CEH has reached legal agreements in the past with dozens of companies to eliminate the use of Tris and, in some cases, all flame retardant materials in their children’s products.