Do you love smell of a new car? You should be aware of this new study


A representational image of a new car interior. — Pixabay/File

People love the smell of new cars and it is something which cannot be substituted with any other smell for some. However, a study has raised alarms for the people who love this smell suggesting the cost is something bigger than mere money.

The study has found that the chemicals which create a particular smell in new cars could increase the risk of cancer. As this smell is caused by hazardous chemical concentrations, it doesn’t take much time for them to become harmful, reported USA Today.

The study was conducted by researchers at Harvard University and the Beijing Institute of Technology in China and published its findings on Wednesday in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science.

How research was conducted?

During their research, the experts observed the quality of the air in new cars through detectors used to identify various chemicals. For continued 12 days, the cars were parked and sealed outside under different environments.

What are new findings?

The researchers have found out that the new cars showed “formaldehyde” detected at levels of 34.9% — higher than Chinese national safety standards.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the chemical compound formaldehyde — found in new cars’ air quality —could be a cause of cancer.

Another compound, “acetaldehyde” — a probable human carcinogen — was also detected at levels 60.5% — also higher than Chinese national safety standards.

According to research, “In total, the combination of volatile organic compounds found to be in levels would bedeemed “a high potential health risk.” In other words, the chemicals in the new car smell are posing a high risk for drivers.

The study said: “Detailed calculation indicates that the inhalation route plays a significant role in the risk of cancer for drivers and passengers exposed.”

The study also underlined that the chemical concentration increases when the weather is warm.

It is not the first time that researchers have revealed the hazards of new car smell.

A study conducted in 2021 study at the University of California, Riverside also unravelled that the health risks — of cancer —increase when a large amount of time is spent on a new car could. It is because people become exposed to harmful chemicals levels that have adverse effects on human health in as little as 20 minutes.

What are formaldehyde and acetaldehyde?

EPA suggested that formaldehyde is “a colourless, flammable gas at room temperature and has a strong odour.”

This compound is used in a number of products used in households as well as in paints, permanent press fabrics and coatings, lacquers and finishes.

EPA also says that acetaldehyde is an intermediate in the synthesis of other chemicals”, which is used in the production of perfumes, polyester resin and basic dyes.

What researchers suggest?

Researchers have maintained that their “findings will be helpful for vehicle designers in selecting appropriate in-cabin materials with lower potential emissions to achieve effective source control and thus improve in-cabin air quality.”

They also said: “Opening car windows could rapidly reduce the emission of the concentrations.”



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