Does My Child’s Car Seat Contain Toxic Chemicals?!
A Rapid Method of Chemical Hazard Screening in Consumer Products

Jeff Gearhart, Research Director Ecology Center &

Jeff Gearhart - copyA surprisingly large number of consumer goods contain toxic and environmentally harmful chemicals. Visiting Partner Jeff Gearhart recognized the need to inform the public about the chemicals contained in the products they purchase.  Jeff developed a rapid and non-destructive method to detect many chemicals of concern in consumer products.  His method has now been used to test thousands of products.  The results of the screening tests, as well as documentation of the method, are online at The database currently contains results of over 20,000 measurements from over 9,000 individual products, such as toys and other children’s products, apparel, vehicles, car seats, pet products, building products, and electronics.  The site is regularly updated with new product entries, and has become a valuable and widely used resource.

Jeff’s work has also promoted meaningful and positive changes in how manufacturers develop products and address compliance with laws, regulations and voluntary guidelines regarding chemical use and toxicity. These changes are facilitated since his method allowsgreathart2 rapid testing of products. For instance, using the information gathered from testing car seats, Jeff has worked with manufacturers to reduce and/or eliminate a number of chemicals of concern in these products. The elimination and/or reduction of exposure increases safety in the workplace where these products are fabricated, as well as for consumers, families and children (as demonstrated for these car seats).