We all love the smell of a new car. Many people take a good whiff of their brand new car that smells so good. The “new car” smell is exciting and it provides a certain mental satisfaction to a new buyer. However, according to a study, this smell can be harmful to humans, which seems weird because many people use special car perfumes that make their car smell like new.
The smell that comes in a new car is basically of many chemicals that are used in making the foams, fabrics, solvents, rubbers, plastics and adhesives. These substances contain something known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs, which are considered to be deadly in sufficient quantity. A study done by Aalekhya Reddam and David C. Volz from the University of California, Riverside says that the new car smell is actually a result of something known as off-gassing. Off-gassing is the escape and release of material that was previously absorbed in various bits that were used in making a car. The heat from the sun can speed up the chemical reaction also.
The new car smell contains harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, ethylbenzene and toluene. These are some of the chemicals that you will find in things like nail polish remover, correction pens, paint and glue. This smell already causes allergies, headaches, nausea and dizziness to few people. These chemicals are already on California’s Proposition 65 list of recognized carcinogens and can also increase the risk of cancer.
According to a study conducted by Ecology Center based in Ann Arbor, Mich said “These chemicals [in new car smell can be harmful when inhaled or ingested and may lead to severe health impacts such as birth defects, learning disabilities, and cancer,” A Technical University of Munich collected air samples from a car that was sitting in the sun and exposed it to human skin and hamsters and the results were found to be toxic.
The US Environmental Protection Agency says that off-gassing from car materials can cause hormonal disruption, reproductive impacts and damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system — or even cancer. It’s that long-term exposure that experts find most worrisome.
What you can do to stay safe?
- Experts have advised that the best thing that the buyers of new cars can do is to minimize the exposure to the car interiors.
- The buyers need to park their cars in a shady area with windows open so that the interiors are well ventilated. This will ensure that the harmful smell gets out of the cabin and you are not inhaling it.
- If you live in a hot climate then do not sit in the car immediately. Open up the windows and doors before getting in as this will help the harmful gas to get out of the cabin.
- Do not sit in the car when your car is parked under the direct sun as the cabin will start heating up from the sun’s heat. You can also use a solar shade or sun shades to minimize the heat build-up in the cabin.
- If you are planning on buying a new car then take an extended test drive. Observe yourself if you start facing some symptoms or not.