New car smell is bad for you

April 24, 2007

That "new car smell" can be hazardous to your health, The Ecology Center, a Berkeley, Calif., environmental group said.

The Ecology Center said toxic chemicals such as bromine, chlorine and lead found in cars' interiors give off harmful fumes for three years, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The group listed the 10 least toxic vehicles in a report: the Acura RDX; BMW X3; Chevrolet Cobalt; Chrysler PT Cruiser; Honda Odyssey; Nissan Frontier; Suzuki Aerio wagon; Toyota Matrix; and Volvo S40 and V50.

The 10 worst vehicles were: the Chevy Aveo, Express and Silverado; Hyundai Accent; Kio Rio and Spectra; Nissan Versa; Scion xB; Subaru Forester; and Suzuki Forenza.

Jeff Gearhart of the Ecology Center said consumers can avoid the fumes, which are emitted when the car's interior is exposed to heat.

"Don't park in the sun, and if you do, use a solar screen along the windshield to reduce heat getting into the cabin. And before driving on a warm day, first open the windows and doors to ventilate the car for 10 minutes," Gearhart told the newspaper. "Also, clean the cabin frequently by vacuuming and washing the windows because the greasy film on the inside windows is residue from the chemicals."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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