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99% Of Car Seats Contain Cancer-Causing Chemicals, Says New Study

Key Takeaways

  • A new study finds that cancer-causing chemicals are highly prevalent in car seats.
  • 155 cars were evaluated, 99% were found to have TCIPP flame retardants in their seats.
  • Many vehicles tested contain two other potentially dangerous chemicals, TDCIPP and TCEP.

As motorists, we all know that operating a car comes with certain risks. While we accept that accidents happen, we don’t expect the seats to pose a threat to our health. However, according to a new study published in Environmental Science and Technology, an overwhelming number of car seats contain a cancer-causing chemical called TCIPP.

Before we get into the eye-widening statistics, let’s first look at the study parameters. Researchers looked at a total of 155 vehicles (made between 2015 and 2022) hailing from different countries. 101 of these cars were evaluated in winter, with 54 tested in summer to account for the difference in temperature. The team looked at hybrid, electric, and gas-powered vehicles. This likely includes popular vehicles like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Accord, and Ford Escape.

Cancer-Causing Chemicals In Your Seats

According to the study, 99% of vehicles were found to have TCIPP in their seats. In warmer temperatures, the concentration of this dangerous chemical was found to be two to five times higher. More chemicals are released from the seats when it is hotter. This is rather worrying as a 2023 United States National Toxicology Report has found evidence of “carcinogenic activity in male and female rats and mice” that have been exposed to the chemical.

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So should you be worried? Yes and no. The study says traces of TCIPP were measured at levels between 0.2 and 11,600 ng/g (nanogram), which is a very small amount. Still, it’s rather surprising to know this chemical is found in so many vehicles. The study also notes that many of the vehicles tested contain traces of two other flame retardants, namely TDCIPP and TCEP.

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 Convertible interior, seats

How To Prevent Yourself From Inhaling These Chemicals

The compound is found mostly in the seat foam, and not the components (frame or rails, etc.) or upholstery. Lead researcher Rebecca Hoehn, who is also a toxicology scientist at Duke University, believes this is a public health issue. “It’s particularly concerning for drivers with longer commutes as well as child passengers, who breathe more pound for pound than adults,” said Hoehn.


Here’s Why You Can’t Resist The Smell Of Gasoline

Ever wondered why you love the smell of gas? A new study gives us two potential answers.

Researchers recommend that motorists (especially those who park outside) open their windows to reduce the temperature in the interior and improve airflow. Using the air conditioner is also helpful, but the air recirculation setting should be avoided, at least until the in-car temperature returns to normal. Aside from this, previous studies have claimed the beloved new car smell is toxic, containing chemicals such as formaldehyde and benzene, both of which have been linked to cancer.

2017 Kia Sedona rear seats

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