The amount of pollution in your car impacts your health in a variety of ways. The allergens that collect can aggravate your allergies or asthma. The plastics and fire-retardants off-gas, contributing to you allergies as well as general health. And then there is the carbon monoxide that creeps in. Poor air quality inside your car could contribute to accidents as well. Air filters or purifiers may be part of the answer, but not all of it.
Most people are very aware of the pollution that cars add to the atmosphere, but they may not be quite as knowledgeable about the pollutants that are inside the car. If you happen to have sensitivities to chemicals and other pollutants, then you will want to consider the fact that your car can be causing some of your allergy symptoms. What makes up the amount of pollution in a car?
The amount of pollution in a car is surprising. And the sources of air pollution are astounding. That pollution can make quite an impact upon your health or the health of your family members.
One thing that many environmental groups are concerned with is the fact that UV light from the sunshine can cause the release of some chemicals that are used in car manufacturing, especially in the plastic surfaces. One chemical is Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). This chemical is used as a fire retardant in cars and upholstery. The other chemical that can cause health problems is phthalates, which is used as a plastic softener. This is what causes that “new car” smell that some people particularly enjoy. Both of these chemicals can cause severe health problems, including birth defects, liver toxicity, deafness, premature births, etc. The sunshine and resulting heat inside of your car can cause the release of these chemicals into the air inside of your car, which is why they are so dangerous.
Dust mites and the upholstery itself can be problems as well. Dust mites can cause allergy and asthma symptoms for people who are sensitive to them, so it is important that you regularly vacuum your carpet to try and remove the dust mites as much as possible. Some upholstery fibers may be irritating to skin, so if you have sensitive skin, this may be something that you want to be concerned with.
Adding a cabin air filter may be something that you want to consider if you have allergies. This air filtering system can help remove some of the normal pollutants that you see inside cars and in the air, including soot, dirt, and pollen, but they are not much help with many of the chemical pollutants. Determining what you are sensitive to may aid you in deciding whether a cabin air filter would be right for you.
And then there is the carbon monoxide which spews out the car’s tailpipe that can infiltrate back into the car. Carbon monoxide (CO) is particularly noxious because of the way it binds to your red blood cells, prohibiting as much oxygen from binding. If you get too much CO in your blood, your body will get sluggish, your brain power will suffer, and in general you are in trouble. Making sure your car seals are in tact is important to minimize the infiltration of this poisonous gas into your car.
The amount of pollution in a car may not seem like it could possibly be very much, but it can make a big impact upon the health of people that are sensitive. The air inside of your car can be very saturated with pollutants due to the small area. That is why it is important to carefully research your car purchase online and at the dealership to ensure that you know exactly what you are dealing with. Some car manufacturers are beginning to see the need for discontinued use of some of these chemicals, most notably Volvo, so research the different ones and see who is on the right track for making an environmentally friendly car inside and out. You may be surprised by what you find.