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The Hidden Truth Behind That New Car Smell

Have you ever sat inside a brand new car? If so, you will doubtless remember the unmistakable “new car smell” that hits you as soon as you get in!

As crazy as it sounds, some people base their new car buying decisions on that new car smell! Sensing how attractive it is, some companies have even tried to make air fresheners based on the scent.

We all know how memorable the smell is, even if we don’t own brand new cars. But there is a dark side to that scent, and it’s one that car makers aren’t willing to share with the general public.

What’s in that “new car smell”?

Have you ever noticed a certain odour to anything “new” that you buy? When you buy some new electronics equipment, for instance, there is that unmistakable smell in the air from its box.

The scents and odours are by-products of the materials that get used in their construction. And the same thing applies to the interiors of brand new cars.

It might shock you to learn that what you smell inside of brand new cars is pretty toxic!

The main chemicals used for certain interior components are as follows:

  • Bromine. Causes problems with memory and decreased fertility. Can also cause learning impairment, thyroid problems and behavioural changes;
  • Lead. Can cause brain damage. Also causes  issues with your body’s kidneys, blood, nervous system and reproductive system;
  • Chlorine. Good for cleaning swimming pools, but bad for your health! High concentrations of chlorine exposure can cause liver, thyroid and blood problems.

How can those toxic chemicals harm you through a new car?

One of the smallest enclosed spaces you will sit in during your life is that of a car interior. If you drive a brand new car and keep the windows closed, you will breathe in those high concentrations of toxic chemicals.

Prolonged exposure to those toxic chemicals is harmful. If you spend most of your day driving around in brand new cars, it is likely you will start to feel the effects of those chemicals.

How to lower the risk of ill health from brand new cars

There is some good news, and that is you can take some steps to avoid becoming ill from driving a brand new car!

The first thing is to let plenty of fresh air circulate in the car. You might want to keep the windows closed and turn the climate control on, but that is a bad idea. Until that new car smell has gone completely, drive around with your windows down.

When you aren’t driving, you must always find a shaded area to park your car. The concentration of those toxic chemicals increases when the interior of your car heats up. And the interiors of brand new cars can reach mindblowing temperatures of up to 89 degrees Celsius!

But the best, and final, piece of advice is far simpler than the other two recommendations. Just don’t sit inside a brand new car! Or, at least, a car that still has that “new car smell.”