So you have purchased a brand new car, feels great doesn’t it? To be the first registered keeper on the documentation, the first person to drive it away and for it to be legally yours, polished and beautiful on your driveway. It looks beautiful, perfect paintwork, it reeks of quality and you love the flushness of the seats and did you look at all those gadgets? Then there is that very unique smell that somehow provides the icing on the cake. It’s that brand new smell that is so great.
So as much as you enjoy the newness, how safe is that ‘new’ scent? Could it be toxic?
There have been studies looking into the chemicals that provide a new car with that very individual odor. You might think that it is the smell of leather and it certainly might contribute if you have brought a quality car with real leather seats, but even the cars that are much more economical to buy, have that same smell. It’s, well, it’s the scent that we associate with a brand new car. Are we just breathing in a whole collection of chemicals?
Sadly, there are chemicals in the interior of your lovely new car and they will release something called VOC’s into the car. VOC’s are volatile organic compounds and contain chemicals such as formaldehyde among others. Not so much fun now right? The chemicals can individually or collectively cause allergies, headaches and even dizziness. There is even concern that some of the chemicals can be cancer causing.
Luckily, many of these volatile chemicals do fade over time but, it doesn’t mean that they dissipate completely. The best thing to do is to have the window open a little to avoid being trapped in with these chemicals. On a hot day that is much easier but keeping fresh air circulating and avoiding being trapped in the car with the odor is a much better option. When the car gets hot, the chemical smell may resurface so try to keep the temperature in the car down and even get used to parking your car in the shade.
Of course not everyone aggress that the odors could be dangerous but although no-one denies they are present, there is some debate on whether they present a serious threat to our health.
“Image courtesy of [teerapun] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.