Thursday, July 12, 2012

New car smell

On a similar lines to an earlier post in which I discussed "new home smell", new cars tend to go through off-gassing as well because of the materials used in their construction. The July/August 2012 issue of VIA magazine from AAA discusses this topic in an article titled What is "new car smell"?
We all know it when we smell it, but what exactly is it? Turns out it’s a chemical cocktail produced by new materials—such as vinyl, adhesives, sealers, and paints—that give off fumes for six months to a year.
A recent study by scientists at Japan’s Osaka Prefectural Institute of Public Health identified 275 chemicals in car interiors. While some, such as benzene, are known carcinogens, the levels of these compounds found in car interiors have not been conclusively linked to serious illnesses.
All the same, to minimize any potential ill effects, experts recommend ventilating a new car by opening doors and windows five minutes before entering, and keeping the car out of the sun, since heat intensifies that new car smell.
Even among car manufacturers, awareness of this aspect is growing and they are gradually moving towards more environmentally friendly materials that are also recyclable.

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