Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

New car smell

Guest blogging for the redoubtable Cervantes while he is off doing whatever it is he does on Saturdays. Building a house with his own two hands, as I recall. Strange interests, this Cervantes.

His only stricture was I wasn't to blog about influenza. So what to blog about. Something different. Hmmm.

I drive a ten year old shitbox car I hate (I won't say what kind, other than that it is a 1995 Volvo 940 sedan). So I have been fantasizing about how nice it would be to have a brand new automo-thing.

Ahh, the "new car smell." Nothing else smells like it. Nothing except a mixture of volatile organic compounds ( VOCs) you wouldn't want in your drinking water or food (like the carcinogens formaldehyde and styrene). The VOCs come from plasticizers, glues, paints and other items in the car's interior. Some people complain they get headaches, sore throats, drowsiness and queasiness similar to symptoms of "sick building syndrome."
Just sitting in a new car can subject riders to toxic emissions several times the limits deemed safe for homes or offices by some health authorities, though the problem tends to dissipate after about six months, according to a 2001 study by Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

"We find new car interiors have much higher VOC levels than any building we've researched," research leader Steve Brown said. "Ultimately, what we need are cars with interior materials that produce lower emissions." (USA Today, byline Hans Greiml)
"Ultimately" is already here if you buy a Japanese car. Japanese car makers are trying to reduce VOCs to the point the air in a car meets the standards for air in a building, and they are cutting levels of 13 compounds, including formaldehyde and styrene. The top makers like Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi and Mazda are now marketing cars touting the lower VOCs. Great if you buy a Japanese car. And the rest?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets no guidelines for volatile organic compounds in non-industrial settings, though formaldehyde is regulated as a carcinogen by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The Washington-based Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents nine carmakers including General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler, says it does not follow the issue of volatile organic compounds. DaimlerChrysler said it has no initiatives on the volatile organic compound-induced new-car fumes.
Oh. I see. They don't follow the issue. Just the Japanese follow the issue. Strange interests, those Japanese.


kamagra said...

Indeed the new car smell its the best smell ever, but if you visit a few car dealerships, every model has its own new car smell flavor. The best for me is the BMW smell.

Viagra Online said...

This is so true, I really like how it smell new things specially cars. My favorite is Range Rover smell, is one of the best.

Anonymous said...

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