New Car Smell May Seem Pleasant, BUT it’s Harmful to Your Health

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.
How Can You Prevent the Spread the Negative Affects of New Products?
There is not a lot that can be done as the chemicals leech out over months and years. You can try looking for low or free VOC labels on the products that you buy – but there are not many of those around.  The best prevention is to make sure that you are constantly cleaning your indoor air with a system designed to eradicate Formaldehyde, PVCs, VOCs and more.
The Positive Benefits of Cleaning The Indoor Air
Properly cleaned and purified air is a great investment that you can make for your health as a whole. Not only will it help with new product off-gassing, it can help mitigate airborne transmission of odours, diseases, and viruses. Cleaning the air using proper air filters can also help in the elimination of fungal spores, molds, microbes and pollen which have the potential to stimulate allergic reactions.
How to Choose the Right Air Cleaning System
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Centers for Disease Control & Prevention states ‘if portable units are used, they should recirculate all the room air through medical grade filters’. These systems should be capable of operating at noise levels that do not inhibit occupants from performing their necessary tasks, otherwise they will be ‘turned down’ which can negate their efficacy at cleaning the air. Effective systems also need to have multiple levels of filtration including physical filters, carbon filters and ultraviolet germicidal light (UVGI). 
When properly sized and used indoors, Medical Grade Standalone Air Purifiers are effective in destroying harmful microorganisms and odors in indoor air.  This technology has proven to be effective in the healthcare industry, and recently it has become a best practice wherever bad indoor air exists.
The next time you paint your space, buy new flooring, get new furniture remember what looks good can be harmful to you, and your best protection is to clean the air.

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