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That “New Car Smell” Can Harm You

Drivers in Atlanta continue to be at risk from the harmful effects of bromine and other toxic chemicals that creates that “new car smell” according to the fourth annual buyers guide to toxic chemicals in automobile interiors, produced by the Ecology Center. This is in spite of the fact that automobile manufacturers are steadily reducing these sorts of chemicals.

As indicated by the report, 40% of all the automobiles tested in 2012 have brominated flame-retardants (BFRs) in their interiors. BFRs are a variety of different chemicals that are used to reduce flammability and slow down combustion rates. However, bromine isn’t the only chemical causing concern. Chlorine, lead, and heavy metals are also deemed toxic and found in cars in varying amounts.

These chemicals are linked to numerous health problems such as allergies, birth defects, cancer, learning impairments, and liver toxicity. And according to the Ecology Center’s report, the Mitsubishi Outlander, the KIA Soul, and the Chrysler 200 SC are motor vehicles found to have the highest levels of these chemicals.

The Ecology Center warns that contact with such chemicals should not be taken too lightly since the typical person spends 1½ hours in their car each day. Besides, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can increase and breakdown into additional toxic substances when a car’s temperature rises too high.