(NaturalHealth365) Reflect on your most recent new car purchase or lease. The moment you stepped into the vehicle, the refreshing scent of its pristine interior permeated your nostrils, evoking a subtle exhilaration.
However, a new study has uncovered an unexpected aspect of this captivating new car smell – the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can potentially be carcinogenic.
Beware the seductive new car scent and why used cars may have the edge over brand-new ones
If you are in the market for a new car, don’t be so quick to pull the trigger on the deal. The purchase or lease of a used vehicle might be better. Moreover, those who elect to buy a new car should consider opening up the vehicle’s doors for an extended period in a secure place, providing ample opportunity for the new car smell to dissipate.
Harmful VOCs characterize the allure of the new car smell. Though the smell of new leather somewhat appeals to the olfactory senses, the underlying VOCs make exposure a net negative. VOCs can cause a litany of problems, both health-wise and environmentally. They can also pollute interior air, making it risky to sit in a new vehicle without airing it out first.
Exposing the health hazards of VOCs in new cars
Exposure to new cars can lead to a range of unpleasant symptoms and health risks due to the presence of VOCs. These risks include:
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Allergic reactions
- Memory issues
Furthermore, some individuals have reported experiencing visual disorders after spending time in new vehicles. Medical professionals have cautioned that prolonged exposure to VOCs can potentially harm the central nervous system, respiratory system, internal organs such as the kidneys and liver.
There is also a concerning possibility that VOC exposure may have adverse effects on the central nervous system. The most severe consequences could include the development of cancer or birth defects in infants of pregnant women.
The risk caused by VOCs in new vehicles is elevated during the first half-year. The concentration of these harmful chemicals decreases after the initial six months. If you dread the idea of being exposed to potentially cancer-causing VOCs in the initial six months of driving, consider alternative options such as buying a used vehicle or using a rideshare service.
Do your due diligence before taking the risk of a new car purchase
Within the realm of consumer-oriented automakers, some are going above and beyond to prioritize driver safety. By conducting thorough research, you can discover certain companies actively taking measures to reduce VOC chemicals in new vehicles. For instance, the Honda Civic stands out for its relatively low VOC emissions.
Delve deeper into your search to identify businesses that provide certified assurance of safe interior vehicle air quality. Another approach is to ask the car salesman about vehicles that have been sitting on the lot for at least six months. By narrowing down your options to vehicles with a production date six months in the past, you can select the one that best aligns with your criteria.
If you select a new vehicle less than six months old, roll down the windows when driving and parking overnight in your garage. Turn on the air conditioning for an influx of fresh air. Do not sit in the vehicle when it is parked, as the interior air will be at a high temperature that triggers the release of fumes from chemicals.
Sources for this article include:
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