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 |  Feb 19 2012, 4:00 PM


The new 2012 Civic might not be landing at the top of a lot of lists this year, but it can claim best marks when it comes to the level of toxic materials used.

The Ecology Center has just released its fourth consumer guide to toxic chemicals in cars at, and the Honda Civic is rated as the least toxic car out of 200 2011- and 2012-model vehicles. The study tested for chemicals that off-gas from parts such as the steering wheel, dashboard, armrests, and seats – the same chemicals that contribute to that new car smell everyone seems to enjoy.

“Research shows that vehicle interiors contain a unique cocktail of hundreds of toxic chemicals that off-gas in small, confined spaces,” said Jeff Gearhart, Research Director at the Ecology Center. “Since these chemicals are not regulated, consumers have no way of knowing the dangers they face. Our testing is intended to expose those dangers and encourage manufacturers to use safer alternatives.”

Topping the charts this year for least toxic was the Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, Honda CR-Z, Nissan Cube, Acura RDX, Acura ZDX, Audi S5, Smart Coupe, Toyota Venza, and Smart Passion. At the bottom of the list was the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport – the most toxic of 200 or so popular models that were studied.

The report also showed that Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, and Ford were the most improved brands compared to their 2009/2010 model counterparts while Daimler AG and Volvo both saw declining averages over the same time span.

Check out a video of the report below:

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 |  Aug 05 2011, 3:15 PM

We all know that child car seats are meant to help protect your kids, but new tests results put out by Healthy Stuff say that half of 2011 child car seats contain the use of chemicals that are known to result in unexpected health problems.

The organization, which as been testing car safety seats since 2008, tested for bromine, chlorine and other heavy metals. And even though they did find that half of the car seats made in 2011 did contain some of these elements, there is some good news – since Healthy Stuff started testing, the average rankings have improved by 64 percent.

If you’re in the market for a new child car seat, keep this list handy:

Most Toxic 2011 Car Seats:

  • Infant Seat: Graco Snugride 35 in Edgemont Red/Black & Graco SnugRide 30 in Asprey
  • Convertible Seat: Britax Marathon 70 in Jet Set & Britax Marathon in Platinum
  • Booster Seat: Recaro Pro Booster in Blue Opal & Recaro ProSPORT Toddler in Mist

Least Toxic 2011 Car Seats:

  • Infant Seat: Chicco KeyFit 30 in Limonata, Graco Snugride 35 in Laguna Bay & Combi Shuttle 33 in Cranberry Noche
  • Convertible Carseat: Graco Comfort Sport in Caleo, Graco MyRide 65 in Chandler and Streamer, Safety 1st OnSide Air in Clearwater, and Graco Nautilus Elite 3-in-1 in Gabe
  • Booster Seat: Graco Turbo Booster in Anders

If you want to see the full list what seat made the list, head on over to the Healthy Stuff site (you can even add your name to the petition for safer products). Partnering with The Alliance for Toxic-Free Fire Safety, Healthy Stuff is attempting to pressure the “largest car seat retailers, Graco and Evenflo, to take leadership to disclose and phase out hazardous chemical flame retardant additives”.

[Source: Treehugger]