When entering a hot car, take a minute and maybe save your life:
As if driving wasn’t dangerous enough, yet another in-car hazard rears it’s ugly head. A recent study conducted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), shows that the “new car smell” that everyone likes so much may in fact be deadly. According to the study, vinyl and plastic materials in new cars may emit toxic gases.
Long-term exposure to the volatile organic compounds (VOC) may cause cancer and birth defects. The toxic chemicals, released by plastic, glue and carpeting in cars can cause headaches, sore throats, nausea, and drowsiness. When the interior materials are new, they release gases as they stabilize. Some of the chemicals released include two known carcinogens: benzene and formaldehyde.
The danger is more severe on hot days. Opening the car’s windows or vents will help clear the interior of poisonous gases, but in heavy traffic, smog may be a bigger health threat. Using cleaning solutions and stain guards is not advised, and expecting mothers are advised to exersize extra caution. Passengers of new cars are subjected to toxic emissions that are well in excess of the limits deemed safe for homes or offices.
Open the car door, and if you have electric windows, roll down some or all of them. Here’s why: According to research, the car dashboard, seats, air freshener emit Benzene, a cancer causing toxin (carcinogen – take time to observe the smell of heated plastic in your car). In addition to causing cancer, Benzene poisons your bones, causes anemia and reduces white blood cells. Prolonged exposure will cause Leukemia, increasing the risk of cancer. Can also cause miscarriage.
Acceptable Benzene level indoors is 50 mg per sq. Ft. A car parked indoors with windows closed will contain 400-800 mg of Benzene. If parked outdoors under the sun at a temperature above 60 degrees F, the Benzene level goes up to 2000-4000 mg, 40 times the acceptable level.
People who get into the car, keeping windows closed will inevitably inhale, in quick succession, excessive amounts of the toxin. Benzene is a toxin that affects your kidney and liver.. What’s worse, it is extremely difficult for your body to expel this toxic stuff. On hot summer days, I look for a shady spot to park my car even if it means a longer walk, which also happens to be good for me. I also leave the windows cracked open just a little. If you ride with drinking water in the car make sure it is in BPA safe containers.