Seems like applying a cow dung coat on cars is the latest fad in the country. After Sejal Shah of Ahmedabad, Dr Navnath Dudhal from Pune is the latest one to give his car a cow dung coat. Sejal’s Toyota Corolla Altis became an internet sensation after she coated it with cow dung. According to Sakal Times, Dr Navnath Dudhal claims that cow dung keeps his car cool in the scorching Pune heat and helps in preventing pollution as the air conditioner is not used much. The car in question here is the first generation Mahindra XUV500 SUV.
The image above shows Dr Navnath Dudhal standing with his vehicle. As seen in the image, it has been completely smeared with cow dung barring the lights and the glass area. However, usage of the word smear is not accurate here as according to Dr Navnath Dudhal, the car has been given 3 coats of cow dung. He said:
Three coats of cow dung have been applied over the car and it stays on the car for a month. Sun radiations do not harm the car’s roof directly therefore, the temperature inside the car is 5-7 degree Celsius less than the outside temperature. The cow dung is removed by water and rubbing it with a cotton cloth. Cow dung stains do not stick to the car’s body and neither the car paint is affected. For some time, the smell of cow dung is felt inside the car, but after a while, no smell remains inside the car.
Dr Navnath Dudhal is a senior doctor at Tata Cancer Hospital in Mumbai. He claims to have stumbled upon this idea as he regularly studies cow urine’s benefit for cancer patients. As of now, there has been no proven study or any other such verification which states that cow dung does help in keeping a car cool. Speaking on the same note, Sachin Punekar, Founder President of Biospheres, an organisation working with the mission of conserving biodiversity, said,
There is no such research on whether car coated by cow dung repels heat. One needs to assess it properly and then go further with the method. I do not understand the idea of coating car with cow dung, because once the metal is exposed to sunlight, it will heat up. But if this is method really works, then the scientist and researcher should work on it. We can adopt new technology by doing so.
We Indians have been using cow dungs for various purposes since ages. It is used as fuel and as a building material too. Traditional mud houses in villages get a cow dung coating regularly for keeping it cool in the summer. It is also said to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties but its latest use on cars sounds a bit bizarre. Maybe, paint companies could conduct some tests and come out with new cow-dung paint to keep the heat down in cars. Heck, they could even provide different colour options to choose from.
On a more serious note, the claim of cow dung making a vehicle cooler seems dubious. Technically speaking, the major factor in heating up a car’s interiors is the large glass area which acts as a greenhouse and traps sunlight/heat which enters inside. What could be a possibility is that adding cow dung adds an extra layer of insulation to the car’s surface which could affect its temperature. However, nothing could be said for sure as of now. What we do know though is that layering our beloved car with cow dung is something which we’ll choose not to do, ever.
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