Child car seats might contain toxic chemicals –environmental group

Published February 8, 2021, 10:13 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

Don’t look now, but some child car seats may contain toxic chemicals that can harm your kid.

Environment watchdog EcoWaste Coalition gave this warning Monday, February 8 even as traffic authorities look to postpone the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 11229, or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, upon orders of President Duterte.

“Some car seats intended to keep young passengers safe while driving may contain toxic chemical additives that they can inhale, ingest or absorb through the skin,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“To avoid early childhood exposure to these toxins, we ask the authorities to ensure that chemicals used in the manufacturing of children’s car seats have undergone toxicological assessment and are proven safe for human health and the environment,” he said. 

Child car seats, which are placed on top of the actual seat of the vehicles, are also called child restraint systems or CRS. CRS use is required under RA 11229, which was supposed to be fully enforced last February 2.

The deferred implementation of the law, as agreed upon by the Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Office, provides an opportunity for concerned agencies, including the Department of Trade and Industry, to look into the chemical makeup of children’s car seats being sold in the market, the Coalition said.

“Manufacturers, respecting the consumers‘ right to know, should truthfully disclose the chemical content of their products through labeling and website information,” Dizon said.

At any rate, EcoWaste Coalition said it supports the government’s effort to reduce the risk of injury and death among infants and children in case of a car accident, which was the main thrust of the law.