Chemical substances in car safety seats and other textile products for children

Survey of chemical substances in consumer products No. 135, 2015

The objective with this report is to examine and assess whether there are chemical substances in car safety seats and other textile products for children that may pose a risk, and to evaluate whether the regulations on the area are met. The analyzed product groups are car safety seats, baby slings, and baby mattresses and 10 products from each product groups are investigated.

The specific substances selected for quantitative chemical analysis based on the results of the screening analyses and initial hazard/exposure assessment were phosphorus-based flame retardants, the phthalate DIDP, azo dyes (through certain aromatic amines as indicators), isocyanates and brominated flame retardants. The substances found in most samples in significant concentrations were the phosphorus-based flame retardants TCEP, TCPP and TDCP and two isomers of diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP). Furthermore, an illegal level of an aromatic amine, indicating use of azodyes, was found in one product. 

Migration tests were performed for the phosphorus-based flame retardants. The seven products having the highest content of one or more of these substances – 4 car safety seats, 2 baby slings and 1 baby mattress – were tested for migration to artificial sweat over a period of 3 hours. Migration was observed in all tests, varying from <1 % up to 30% of the material's content (by weight). Three products were shown to pose a risk under foreseeable use of the product.

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