Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Study: “New Car Smell” Can Increase Cancer Risk



April 13, 2023 | 11:49 a.m

The “new car smell” that everyone knows and loves may actually be a health hazard.

A new study published in the journal Cell Physical Science Reports It was suggested that the smell could increase the risk of cancer.

Scientists at Harvard University and the Beijing Institute of Technology conducted their research in real-world conditions and conditions rather than in a laboratory.

They looked at the air in new cars left parked outside for 12 straight days and used sensors to monitor 20 commonly produced chemicals.

Researchers detected chemical levels that exceeded China’s national safety standards for air quality in automobiles.

formaldehyde, a A known carcinogenic compound, exceeded standards by 35%. Another dangerous carcinogen, acetaldehyde, was 61% higher than the standard.

A 2021 study showed there could be a “potential risk” for people who spend long periods of time driving – but this new research suggests people can be at risk even if they don’t have a long commute.

The VOCs in new vehicles originate primarily from emissions of substances inside the cabin.
Kotrakis et al. / Science Direct
Warmer weather also increases levels of volatile organic compounds.
Kotrakis et al. / Science Direct

The authors found that spending just 30 minutes a day in a car can expose a person to enough of these carcinogens to put them at risk of exceeding safety standards. Warmer weather also increases levels of the chemicals.

While many studies typically focus on air temperature, this new research shows that the largest effect came from the surface temperature of the materials.

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“These observations increase our understanding of transport mechanisms and chemical emissions within the cabin,” the researchers wrote.

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Rosario Tejeda
Rosario Tejeda
"Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver."