What began as a NewsMom.com editorial expanded into a year-long KPIX-CBS investigation exposing alleged false advertising, apparent legal loopholes and outdated federal regulations that systematically expose millions of children to concerning car seat chemicals.
After reviewing our findings, both the House and Senate Commerce Committees questioned regulators about the standard. The issue was raised at a Senate committee hearing, lawmakers commissioned a nonpartisan congressional research report, and legislation was introduced that would force regulators to revise the standard. In the meantime, NHTSA has now begin the process of reviewing the standard.
One car seat manufacturer issued a voluntary recall based on our findings. The Center for Environmental Health filed legal action against another of the manufacturers we featured. That company later announced it would no longer manufacture car seats.
This local investigation was featured nationally on “CBS This Morning,” “The Talk” and in CBS affiliate news broadcasts nationwide.
A recent car seat flame retardant study by the Ecology Center, which cited our report, found that 15 prominent car seat makers had successfully phased out one of the most concerning chemicals in their 2016 model car seats. The first-ever flame-retardant-free car seat was introduced following our reports in 2017. Two more companies recently announced they will manufacture flame-retardant-free car seats of their own in 2018.
The “Toxic Safety” investigation won the the 2017 Gracie Award for best Investigative Feature, The National Press Club Award for Consumer Journalism and the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service.
For a summary of the investigation, links to each of our stories, and NewsMom supplements with additional resources for parents, relevant data and documents, see:
Investigating Car Seat Chemicals