Most of us tend to feel that when we are in our cars we are somehow better protected from pollution outside and enjoy cleaner air. But is it really true?
Let’s start by discussing a threat that we are all exposed to but in reality, almost no one is suspicious about and, most people would find appalling.
The new car smell has toxic particles
That new car smell that many people love contains lots of volatile organic chemicals in amounts that are beyond health limits. The toxic chemicals found are those used in paints and adhesives. Various types of research have linked the new car smell toxic gasses to cancer and other diseases.
If you own a new car the best recommendation is to use a car air purifier that will help you ensure the air inside your car is clean and all those toxic particles are being filtered. Note that if you are in a city like Singapore, especially during times of haze, it won’t be of much help to open the windows to ventilate your car, since you will be letting pollutants to enter into your car.
Pollutants levels are higher inside your car
Studies have shown that cars take in toxic emissions from surrounding vehicles and recirculate them thus causing higher concentrations of toxic particles inside. Even to the extent that some of those gasses can be found in higher concentrations inside the car rather than outside.
A 2016 British study found that toxicity levels inside cars that are stuck in traffic are as much as 40% higher that when the traffic is moving. Another risk factor is turning the fan on because it sucks air from outside, significantly increasing in-car pollutants.
This video from the OECD reveals more about the heavy toll that air pollution takes on us in urban areas.
A 2016 update from the World Health Organization (WHO) states that “more than 80% of people living in urban areas…are exposed to air quality levels that exceed the WHO limits”. So now you know what kind of air you breathe when you are behind the wheel of your car.
Solutions to obtain better air quality in your car
Now that you know this valuable information, you might be wondering: So, what can I do to have clean air in my car?
Well, there are some key areas in which you can focus that will help you achieve clean air inside your car, let’s review the most relevant ones:
• If you have a new car, avoid the busy roads and keep the windows open as much as you can to ventilate your car constantly. Do this at least for the first few months until the new car smell is less intense.
• Avoid the use of fresheners or deodorizers in your car unless they are non-toxic. We have a complete article about this topic in a previous post. Read article.
• Since we know that the pollutants levels are proportionate to the amount of traffic, try to take the less crowded roads with fewer traffic lights and avoid the rush hours.
• Keep some distance from the cars ahead of you, especially when driving with a lot of traffic.
• If you are carrying several people in the car on a long drive open the windows for a few minutes frequently so the carbon dioxide doesn’t build up.
• Do not use chemical cleaners.
• When you stop at traffic lights close the windows and keep some distance from the car ahead.
• Do not rely on built-in air filtration systems that come with cars. Some car dealers offer charcoal filters. Although these may be helpful in reducing the impact of pollens, for instance, they are not effective in removing fine particles.
And finally, the most effective and convenient solution to constantly have clean air in your car is to make sure you acquire a car air purifier with a 3M HEPA filter which removes an astounding 99.97% of air pollutants. It really will save you a lot of inconveniences and give you peace of mind.
Do you face any other pollutants in your car? Join our community by letting other readers know your comments below.