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Thursday, September 24, 2020

New Car Smell: Is it Bad for Your Health?

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Ahhhh. There’s nothing quite like sliding into a brand new car—the untouched interior, new technology and the smell. We love that smell so much that we work tirelessly to keep our cars clean and fresh to hold on to the scent as long as possible. There are even air fresheners and sprays to give any vehicle that new car smell once it has faded away.
 
However, a study from the nonprofit Ecology Center and www.healthystuff.org revealed that the new car smell might actually be produced by toxic fumes from the chemicals used to create car interior parts. New vehicles contain many unregulated chemicals that are used to manufacture the various parts, which are all enhanced in the small, confined space. The study found that this issue also extends to car-related products like car seats and booster seats for children, 73% of which were found to contain hazardous halogenated flame retardants.
 
The Ecology Center tested more than 200 2011 and 2012-model cars for the chemicals found in parts like steering wheels, dashboards, armrests and seats and found more than 275 different chemicals, including bromine (added to make items less flammable) and chlorine (used for polyvinyl chloride in plastics and windshields).
 
While exposure to these chemicals is related to thyroid problems, memory impairment, decreased fertility and other health issues, car manufacturers are working to create healthier interiors. According to CBS News, 17% of new vehicles have PVC-free interiors and 60% are produced without BFRs.
 
Be sure to include this in your research when considering a new car!

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