Unacceptably high levels of carcinogens inhaled by car owners

Unacceptably high levels of carcinogens inhaled by car owners

03/02/2021

As with most chemicals, the poison is in the amount. Under a certain threshold of exposure, even known carcinogens are not likely to cause cancer. Once you cross that threshold, the risk for disease increases.

wheelguy recently shared this with other BHPians.

Benzene and formaldehyde – both used in automobile manufacturing – are known to cause cancer at or above certain levels of exposure and are Prop. 65-listed chemicals.

As with most chemicals, the poison is in the amount. Under a certain threshold of exposure, even known carcinogens are not likely to cause cancer. Once you cross that threshold, the risk for disease increases. The findings were published in the journal, Environment International.

Both benzene and formaldehyde are carcinogens, and benzene carries the additional risk of reproductive and developmental toxicity.

Here’s what BHPian EightSix had to say on the matter:

We recently did a school project in Chemistry Class, I was the group leader. I chose Chemistry in cars, and did some research on these chemicals.

They are called VOCs — Volatile Organic Compounds. You know, it’s these VOCs that cause the new car smell! And there is between 30-250 types of these in your car’s interior.

Here is an excerpt from my classmate, Paras’s slide:

  • In-car VOC levels in new cars with sunroofs caused total VOC concentrations to increase by as much as 30%.
  • This is due to emissions from the sealing materials and adhesives around the sunroof.
  • The use of black and white fabric upholstery could add more than 30% of the compounds measured inside cars.
  • Aromatic hydrocarbon pollution could increase with a rise in in-car temperature or humidity but decrease with car age.

VIAQ (Vehicle interior air quality) is getting more attention from scientists, consumers, health advocates, vehicle manufacturers, and even legislators these days, but proper norms/laws would take years to come to India. Heck, India doesn’t even have norms for structurally safe cars.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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