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Cancer-causing flame retardants used on most child safety seats

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Consumers are taking steps to limit their family's exposure to toxic chemicals and manufacturers are responding. The President of Clek, a leading car seat manufacturer, told the Examiner today that "we have worked with all of them (suppliers) to remove chlorinated and brominated flame retardants and comply with FMVSS 302".

FMVSS 302 is the standard set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (nhtsa) regarding the flammability of interior materials in passenger cars. The purpose of the burn resistant materials requirement is to reduce deaths and injuries to passengers of motor vehicles caused by fires-particularly ones caused by matches or cigarettes. Clek is one of the extremely rare child safety seat manufacturers who has addressed the toxicity issue and come up with a solution that meets the NHTSA standards with a patented trade secret they call "Crypton Fabrics".

“All child restraint systems sold in the US are required to meet the FMVSS302 flammability standard. Clek has collaborated with Crypton to provide a performance fabric on its child seats, which uses a non-halogenated flame retardant chemistry. Crypton's flame retardant chemistry is applied in a bath that encapsulates every fiber as part of the production process,” says Chris Lumley, President of Clek. “Additionally, we’ve worked with our entire supply base to ensure that all components supplied on Clek car seats are free of chlorinated or brominated flame retardants."

The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) has done extensive research and pro-active campaigns to eliminate flame retardants in toys and furniture and have compiled a very user-friendly Parent and Family Guide to Flame-Retardants in Baby Products. Their most recent action facilitates consumers to contact the appropriate people at Toys R Us with a pre-populated message requesting they do not sell products with flame retardants (with the option to send their own message). According to Communications Director Charles Margulis "we are beginning to look into car seats as experience suggests that they will not protect children in car fires. We are looking into policy solutions and hope to have news later this year."

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