We all love that new car smell. To girls, it smells like a new Barbie doll. To guys, it smells like success! But that toxic new car smell is more accurate. Research shows that plastics in the interior of your car, such as the dashboard and seats, emits Benzene, a Cancer causing toxin. It is said to cause anemia, reduces white blood cells and poisons your bones. And you thought that your poor driving habits would kill you. Now you have even more to worry about.

So, if your car has been sitting in the hot sun, even if only 60 degrees, it is best to roll down the windows to allow the benzene fumes to escape (into the ozone…now we have another problem). Then, after a few minutes, you may turn on the a/c and perhaps wait a few minutes before entering the car. Even at 60 degrees, the Benzene level goes up to 2000-4000mg, 40 times the acceptable level of toxins.

Acceptable Benzene level is 50mg per sq ft., but no Benzene would be ideal, right? Well, it’s not that simple. Because Benzene is found in many other products since it is mainly used as a component of crude oil. Any petroleum-based products such as gasoline, solvents, plastics, synthetic fibers, dyes, glues and detergents will likely contain Benzene. And it’s also found in tobacco smoke.

So, best bet is to play it safe. When in doubt, ventilate! Roll down the windows and inhale that nice, fresh air. Or is it?

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

That Toxic New Car Smell – Comedy Defensive Driving