‘New car smell’ could be hazardous to health, experts find

(ORDO NEWS) — The smell of a new car, which car salesmen love to lyrically talk about, can actually be harmful to your health, a new study has found.

International researchers studied the air inside new cars for 12 consecutive days and found that it contained high levels of cancer-causing chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.

A joint peer-reviewed study by the Beijing Institute of Technology of China and Harvard University in the United States found that the level of chemicals in the air of new cars exceeded China’s national standard for passenger car air quality.

While testing on new vehicles is usually done in a lab, this study was done in a real world environment.

Research has mostly focused on the effect of air temperature in measuring the amount of chemical emissions, but this study found that the surface temperature of materials in a car had the biggest impact.

The main materials in the car were plastic, artificial leather and woven fabric or felt.

“These results will be helpful to vehicle designers in selecting suitable interior materials with lower emission potential to achieve effective source control and thus improve cabin air quality,” the study says.


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