By Surgically Clean Air
The New Product Smell When You Step into a New Car, or Open an Exciting New Purchase at Home is the Result of Harmful Airborne Compounds
That ‘new car small’ that people are so proud of – is actually harmful for you. Researchers have identified more than 275 different chemicals in vehicle interiors that are hazardous to your health. Even more concerning, this research also pertains to many new things in our homes and places of work such as carpeting, furniture, bedding, paint and more. All of these new products can have the same harmful effect on the indoor air that we breathe.
What is That ‘New’ Smell
That smell is the off-gassing, or evaporation, of chemicals in non-metallic materials. All of those chemicals flood out into the air – that is what you smell. When they leech out, the chemicals have nowhere to go except for the air inside of your home or place of work, which you, your family and your co-workers breathe. These chemicals have been associated with birth defects, impaired learning, liver problems, occupational asthma, cancer and more.
What Are the Chemicals that Are Off-Gassing into the Indoor Air?
The airborne pollutants emitted from new products can create a toxic soup of harmful chemicals. Some of the most prevalent include:
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – Any wood furniture that has been glued, painted or stained most likely contains VOCs. Some examples of harmful VOCs include benzene, toluene, xylene, acetaldehyde, and isocyanates. Exposure to it and other VOCs can cause nausea, vomiting, nose bleeds, eye irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, fatigue, dizziness, allergic skin reaction and dyspnea (shortness of breath).
- Formaldehyde – The fabric of new sofas, couches, office chairs and other furniture are typically treated for stain and water resistance with a finish that contains formaldehyde and perfluorooctanoic acid, both of which are considered by the EPA to be likely carcinogens. Formaldehyde has even been linked to asthma in children, and occupational asthma in office and clinic workers.
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) – New carpets and rugs use Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) in the backing. PVC is known to contain harmful phthalates and dioxins, which have been linked to decreased sperm levels, breast cancer, inability to carry a pregnancy to full term and asthma.