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Blog/Opinion: What can be done about VOCs from new car interiors?

By HHI Staff

Bringing in more fresh air is the simplest intervention. According to Dr. Jules Elkins, University of Texas-Austin, who teaches environmental health at UT Austin:

 

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There are many potentially unhealthy chemicals in the interior of a car, some worse than others. A report by The Ecology Center http://www.healthystuff.org/documents/2012_Cars.pdf gives advice.

 

Fresh air is your best option. That said, there are a number of other steps that can also help:

  • First, some chemicals have an offgassing profile that is dramatically increased with heat. So you can leave your car in the sun or leave the heat on. Ventilation helps the chemicals move out of the car before they are reabsorbed so leave the windows open an inch or two. Once done, air the car thoroughly. After airing, clean surfaces with a microfiber cloth and a tolerated less-toxic cleaner. This is a process you can repeat for the first 6 months, and this will help.
  • Second, you can use chemical absorbers. Good choices are baking soda or zeolite, but change them often.
  • Third, since cars never offgas completely, air purifiers combining HEPA filters and activated charcoal made especially for automobiles can help reduce exposure to ongoing interior chemical emissions.

 

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What can be done about VOCs from new car interiors?:  Created on September 30th, 2014.  Last Modified on September 30th, 2014

 

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