Toxic Chemicals Found in Children’s Car Seats

In a new study, Indiana University scientists found toxic flame retardants in newly manufactured children’s car seats, sparking concerns about children’s health. Of the 18 children’s car seats tested, 15 contained new or traditional hazardous flame retardant chemicals.

“New replacement flame retardants, often marketed as safer alternatives, are lurking in children’s products without rigorous safety testing and may pose risks for children’s health,” said Marta Venier, associate scientist at IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs and principal investigator on the study. “The abundance of emerging flame retardant chemicals in children’s car seats and the key role these products play as potential sources of chemical exposure is a cause for concern.”

The research was conducted in conjunction with the Ecology Center, an independent nonprofit organization in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The car seats tested in this study were purchased by the Ecology Center and shipped to Indiana University for analyses. All of the car seats were newly manufactured between January 2017 and February 2018 and were made in China, Canada, or the United States. In total, the researchers tested 36 different fabric and foam samples from 18 car seats.

For the first time, two cyclic phosphonate esters (PMMMPs) were measured at high levels in North America, suggesting their use as a replacement flame retardant for compounds that are known to be harmful. PMMMPs were found in 34 of the 36 car seat sampled at levels much higher than those of traditional flame retardants. Little is known about their health effects. Two other emerging flame retardants (tris(2,4-di-t-butylphenyl) phosphate (TDTBPP) and resorcinol bis(diphenyl phosphate) (RDP)) were also measured in baby products for the first time.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were observed in 75 percent of the samples tested, despite being phased out of use in the United States in 2013 over health concerns. However, PBDEs were detected at such low levels that it is unlikely they were added intentionally. They may have been impurities or found in parts containing recycled materials. Conversely, decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) was detected in four samples at high levels, suggesting that it was intentionally used. DBDPE is a brominated flame retardant known to cause oxidative stress, hormone disruption and thyroid problems.

Unlike other baby products, children’s car seats are required to meet the flammability standards for car interiors outlined in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 302, which was created in 1971 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Flame retardants are routinely used as a cost-effective way to meet this standard. However, flame retardants have been linked to a variety of negative health effects, including hormone disruption, impaired brain development, liver damage and cancer. Children are more susceptible to these effects than adults because of their smaller size and their tendency to put their hands and objects in their mouths.

Children can be exposed to flame retardants in car seats by breathing in chemicals that leach into the air out of fabrics and foam. This is especially problematic for children during the summer months, when heat increases the rate at which flame retardants enter the poorly ventilated, semi-closed car environment. Children can also be exposed to flame retardants by ingesting the dust which accumulates inside the vehicle, through skin contact or by chewing on their car seats.

“We found that car seat manufacturers are intentionally moving away from certain toxic chemicals compounds that they know to be harmful, which is good news,” said Yan Wu, a postdoctoral researcher at Indiana University and the lead author of the study. “However, we know very little about the replacement chemicals they’re using. Car seats are vital for protecting children during a vehicle crash, but more research is needed to ensure that those seats are chemically safe as well.”

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/toxic-chemicals-found-in-childrens-car-seats/

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Turkey elections votes RIGGED: Police find car full of FORGED ballot papers

Officers resorted to firing their guns into the air to stop the threesome in the country’s southeastern province of Urfa from delivering four sacks stuffed with fake voting cards to the Bilge Primary School, which was being used as a polling station.

When police tried to pull the car over, the driver put his foot on the gas while the remaining two others hurled the sacks and papers out of the window, prompting officers to use force to stop and detain them while the vehicle was searched.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s official news agency reports that authorities have launched an investigation after three French, three German and four Italian citizens have been arrested for interfering with votes.

The ten claimed to be ballot box monitors to unsuspecting voters but did not have the proper accreditation to do this and have been brought into a nearby police station to be interviewed.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/978893/turkey-elections-latest-update-erdogan-Muharrem-Ince-result

Uber Halts Autonomous Car Tests After Fatal Crash in Arizona

Uber Technologies Inc. halted autonomous vehicle tests after one of its cars struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, in what is likely the first pedestrian fatality involving the technology.

The 49-year-old woman, Elaine Herzberg, was crossing the road outside of a crosswalk when the Uber vehicle operating in autonomous mode under the supervision of a human safety driver struck her, according to the Tempe Police Department.

After the incident, which happened at 10 p.m. local time on Sunday, she was transferred to a nearby hospital, where she died from her injuries. “Uber is assisting and this is still an active investigation,” Liliana Duran, a Tempe police spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-19/uber-autonomous-car-involved-in-fatal-crash-in-arizona

Mines Linked to Child Labor Are Thriving in Rush for Car Batteries

The appetite for electric cars is driving a boom in small-scale cobalt production in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where some mines have been found to be dangerous and employ child labor.

Production from so-called artisanal mines probably rose by at least half last year, according to the estimates of officials at three of the biggest international suppliers of the metal, who asked not to be named because they’re not authorized to speak on the matter. State-owned miner Gecamines estimates artisanal output accounted for as much as a quarter of the country’s total production in 2017.

That’s a concern for carmakers from Volkswagen AG to Tesla Inc., who are seeking to secure long-term supplies of the battery ingredient but don’t want to be enmeshed in a scandal about unethical mining practices. Tech giants including Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. endured bad publicity after a 2016 Amnesty International report said children were being sent down some Congolese mines to dig for cobalt destined for their gadgets. Pit and tunnel collapses killed dozens of workers in 2015, the advocacy group said.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-20/deadly-mines-linked-to-child-labor-thrive-in-rush-for-batteries

US to ‘carefully’ review GM request on autonomous car: Chao

Detroit (AFP) – Regulators will “carefully and responsibly” review General Motors’ request to test an autonomous car without a steering wheel, US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said Sunday.

“It is now coming to the stage with the rapid advancement of self-driving technology that this request is now a reality,” Chao said on the sidelines of the Detroit Auto Show.

“So we will view the petition carefully and responsibly.”

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-carefully-review-gm-request-autonomous-car-chao-001531700.html

Couple Who Survived Las Vegas Massacre Dies in Car Crash 


Just weeks after surviving the massacre at a Las Vegas music festival, a married Californian couple died together in a fiery car crash, officials and friends said.

Dennis and Lorraine Carver died after their vehicle crashed into a metal gate and burst into flames near their home in Riverside County, California, on Oct. 16, according to a statement from the Riverside County Fire Department.

The collision took place on the 20000 block of Avenida De Arboles in Murietta, California, at 10:50 p.m., California Highway Patrol told NBC News.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/las-vegas-shooting/couple-who-survived-las-vegas-massacre-dies-car-crash-n815741

Saudi Arabia Agrees to Let Women Drive 


Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that it would allow women to drive, ending a longstanding policy that has become a global symbol of the oppression of women in the ultraconservative kingdom.

The change, which will take effect in June 2018, was announced in a royal decree read live on state television and in a simultaneous media event in Washington. The decision highlights the damage that the ban on women driving has done to the kingdom’s international reputation and its hopes for a public relations benefit from the reform.

Saudi leaders also hope the new policy will help the economy by increasing women’s participation in the workplace. Many working Saudi women spend much of their salaries on drivers or must be driven to work by male relatives.

“It is amazing,” said Fawziah al-Bakr, a Saudi university professor who was among 47 women who participated in the kingdom’s first protest against the ban — in 1990. After driving around the Saudi capital, Riyadh, the women were arrested and some lost their jobs.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-women-drive.html?referer=http://www.drudgereport.com/