We usually focus on the safety of child restraint systems from a physical point of view: do they protect the child enough; are they designed for certain physical characteristics; do they have ISOFIX or not; do they provide side protection for the head and are they approved seats.
However, another concern for many parents and for several consumer associations is whether the child car seats have toxic components. In order to be certain of this, the seats usually undergo contaminating substances tests, in which they trace certain substances not recommended for use in children's products. In this sense, the same rules that apply to children's toys and the textiles industry for children's products are applicable here. In these articles you will find the main contaminating substances they are looking for in these tests.
A few months back, in October 2018, the second Child Restraint System (CRS) report of 2018 was published, carried out by the ADAC laboratory in Landsberg (Germany). This report asserted that 25% of the child seats analyzed received a “Very unsatisfactory” rating, and one of the problems highlighted is precisely that of the use of toxic substances in some of the pieces, such as naphthalene or certain toxic flame retardants. These types of tests are carried out according to the criteria of consumer associations and automobile clubs. Take a look at this report in PDF format here.
In order to ensure that the child car seat we choose is extremely safe, we should not only consider its dynamic safety (how it performs in an accident) but also whether its components contain any “prohibited” substances.